EXHIBITS: Double Helix With a Twist

Science  07 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5612, pp. 1493
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5612.1493a

If 1950s bookies had given odds on who would crack the structure of DNA, Linus Pauling would have been one of the favorites. Instead, the great chemist published an erroneous triple-stranded model of the molecule and lost out to “an adolescent postdoc and an elderly graduate student,” James Watson and Francis Crick. This engrossing new site from Oregon State University in Corvallis examines Pauling's perspective on the race to decipher DNA. Start with the vivid narrative that recounts the pursuit of the double helix between 1950 and 1953. Learn more about Pauling's role by perusing the day-by-day chronology of his work and life, which covers the crucial years of 1952 and 1953, or by browsing a trove of more than 300 letters, photos, papers, audio clips, and video segments. Pauling was a late entrant in the DNA derby, and the site attributes his failure to “hurry and hubris.”

osulibrary.orst.edu/specialcollections/coll/pauling/dna/index.html

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