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Letter from Linus Pauling to George Burch. March 10, 1950.
Pauling writes to request that Burch send more sickle cell blood for use in research at Caltech. Pauling also provides an update on the current status of his group's sickle cell research. In particular, Pauling reports the results of his group's completed analysis of sickle cell hemoglobin and normal hemoglobin amino acids.


March 10, 1950

Dr. G. E. Burch

Department of Medicine

The Tulane University

1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans

Dear George:

I thank you for your letter of February 27. We would like very much to have more samples of sickle cell blood sent to us. Dr. Wells is also going to write to you shortly about some special needs.

The sickle cell work continues to go along well. The amino acid analyses of sickle cell anemia hemoglobin and normal hemoglobin have been completed now. They show that the amino acid residues with carboxylic or ammonium ion side chains are present in the same amount in the two kinds of hemoglobin, but there seems to be slightly less leucine and more serine in sickle cell anemia hemoglobin than in normal hemoglobin, and probably less valine and more threonine. This difference would not contribute directly to the difference in charge, and I myself do not feel absolutely sure that it exists. Dr. Wells has also found that sickle cell trait individuals contain a percentage of sickle cell anemia hemoglobin in their red cells carrying from 25% to 44%. He is continuing this investigation. We are very grateful to you for your assistance.

My wife and I are going to be in New Orleans next month. I think that we shall arrive (from Mobile) on Friday, April 7, and stay until the morning of Tuesday, April 11. I am speaking before the local section of the American Chemical Society on Monday night. Also, I am going up to Philadelphia for Sunday. I am not sure about the plane schedules, bit I shall go up either Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning, and probably return Monday morning.

Cordially yours,

Linus Pauling:W

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