"The proposer of this extraordinary formula for the nucleic acids has not quoted any
significant evidence in support of it. The ligation of five oxygen atoms about each
phosphorous atom is such an unlikely structural feature that the proposed phospho-tri-anhydride
formula for the nucleic acids deserves no serious consideration."
Linus Pauling Verner Schomaker. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 74: 1111. 1952.
"Linus Pauling had come to Corvallis, and I, along with Verner Shomaker, had driven
him back to his hotel. We were talking about the structure of DNA and Pauling simply
said, 'When I was looking at that structure it never occurred to me that x-ray photograph
that I was looking at, the very poor one, could have been of a wet crystal. My inability
to fit the density of the crystal with only two helices was because it required more
mass in the unit cell, and therefore I struggled to do that with three strands. It
never occurred to me that the crystal could have been wet and that the extra density
had to do with water.'"
Ken Hedberg. Ken Hedberg, OSU Professor Emeritus, on an incident ca. 1969. September 25, 2002.