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Letter from Linus Pauling to H.D. Springall. January 29, 1953.
Pauling writes to thank Springall for his approval regarding the three- and seven-chain alpha-helix structure that was recently published in Nature. Pauling adds that next month a paper will be published on the subject of the nucleic acids and outlines the proposed structure of a three-polynucleotide chain helix. Pauling feels that it is likely that all DNA has the same form. He concludes by noting that things are going well in his life and mentions that he is looking forward to traveling to England in April.


29 January 1953

Prof. H. D. Springall

University College of North Staffordshire

Keele, Staffordshire


Dear Spring:

I am glad to have your letter of 19 January, and to know that you think well of our new structures for the a— keratin proteins. It seems to Corey and me that there is very little doubt that these structures are correct — although the derivation is not straightforward, there is a lot of evidence in support of them.

We shall have a short letter in Nature and a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences next month on the structure of the nucleic acids. We think that it is likely that all nucleic acids have the same structure and that it is the one that we have discovered, which in- volves three polynucleotide chains tightly twisted about one another.

Everything is going along well here. I am looking forward to a brief stay in England in April, probably about 15 April, just after the Solvay Congress in Brussels.

Lennard-Jones has written several letters to me recently. He seems to be very pleased that he is to be president of your college. He ought to be a good man for the job.

We all send our best regards to you and your family.

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling:W

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