"The Origins of Molecular Biology and Molecular Medicine." May 20, 1986. Recording of a Pauling lecture. Produced by Medical Television, University of Alabama,
Rockefeller Funding for Hemoglobin Research. (1:37)
Linus Pauling: I began to think about the substances that are present in the human body. For example
hemoglobin, which is the striking one because of its color. The blood constitutes
seven-percent of a person's weight, and the hemoglobin is a seventh of the blood.
So about one-percent of your weight is hemoglobin. It's possible to get this substance
rather easily - just get someone and bleed him. I began doing a little thinking. I
didn't know much, I'd had one elementary course in organic chemistry and no biochemistry.
Didn't know much about these things. I was getting support from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Warren Weaver said to me, "Well it's alright. We've been giving you some money to
determine the structure of the sulfide minerals. But the Rockefeller Foundation isn't
really interested in the sulfide minerals. We're interested in biological molecules
and life." So I said, "Well, I'd like to study the magnetic properties of hemoglobin
and see whether the oxygen molecule loses its paramagnetism when it combines with
the hemoglobin molecule." So they said, "Alright, we'll give you more money."