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Letter from Linus Pauling to Francis Crick. September 13, 1957.
Pauling writes to express his dissatisfaction with the representation of the bonding between guanine and cytosine in a recent Scientific American article written by Crick. Pauling suggests that he and Corey have definitively shown that guanine and cytosine are joined by three hydrogen bonds, as opposed to the two bonds depicted in Crick's article.


13 September 1957

Dr. F. H. C. Crick

Cavendish Laboratory

Cambridge England

Dear Crick:

I had intended to have a chat with you, when I saw you in Cambridge this summer, about the three hydrogen bonds between guanine and cytosine, but I forgot to do so. Now I have been jogged into thinking about the matter again by reading your article in The Scientific American.

I suppose that you saw the paper that Professor Corey and I published in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics last year, in which the matter is discussed. I enclose a reprint.

It seems to me that there is no justification whatever for continuing to show guanine and cytosine with only two hydrogen bonds, as you do in The Scientific American article, both in the text and in the figure. What do you have to say?

With best regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling:

cc: J. D. Watson

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