|Oxford and the Alpha-Helix
When Itano and Singer first carried out the electrophoresis experiments, Pauling was
in England. He spent from January to September of 1948 at Oxford on an Eastman Professorship
and gave over sixty lectures on various topics, including hemoglobin. Hemoglobin was
not his only concern during this time. He spent time developing a theory of metals
and sketched out the primary configuration of proteins, later called the alpha-helix.
While in England, Pauling kept abreast of developments at Caltech through correspondence
with his colleagues, especially Robert B. Corey who was chairing the department in Pauling's absence. In February, Dan Campbell informed
Pauling that Itano's experiments with hemoglobin were producing interesting results
and conveyed his confidence in Singer's abilities. In June, Pauling relayed to Corey
that he went to the Barcroft Memorial Conference on hemoglobin and got many ideas
from it. However, he still had three more months before his return.
Click images to enlarge
Linus Pauling, holding a model of the alpha-helix, seated next to George Beadle. 1950s.
"The Structure of Antibodies and the Nature of Serological Reactions." February 25, 1948.
"Take care of yourself! That is more important than anything else I can think of.
How glad I shall be to see you again!"