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The Rosalind Franklin Papers

Title:
Specific Optical Rotation of Nucleic Acid pdf (61,925 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Specific Optical Rotation of Nucleic Acid
Description:
As Franklin was wrestling with the structural implications of her x-ray data on DNA, Randall contributed this note on a possibly useful method for looking at the problem.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (61,925 Bytes)
Date:
1951-11-28 (November 28, 1951)
Creator:
Randall, J. T.
Source:
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
Rights:
Courtesy of the Churchill Archives Centre.
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Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Nucleic Acids
Optical Rotation
Exhibit Category:
The DNA Riddle: King's College, London, 1951-1953
Folder Number:
1/4
Unique Identifier:
KRBBBC
Document Type:
Notes
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Series: Work on DNA
Folder: Reports and Working Notes on DNA, 1951-1954
Transcript:
WHEATSTONE PHYSICS LABORATORY
Specific Optical Rotation of Nucleic Acid
One well-known type of optical rotation (e.g. quartz) arises from a helical arrangement of atoms in the crystal. I suppose it is technically too difficult to observe this in nucleic acid fibers, although it should be quite feasible in sheets. In fact it has already been observed in gelatin films by Robinson and Bott (Nature, 168, 325, 1951). An interesting point is that specific rotation in many substances is very high near an absorption band. Thus the optical rotation of a film of nucleic acid could be observed photographically (this is a standard technique) near [lambda]2500 where the nucleotides absorb and the effect of moisture content and stress could also be studied. (The law is very similar to that of the Sellmeier dispersion formula).
The method has possibilities in solution as a means of correlation with light-scattering work. I doubt if it is theoretically possible to correlate the rotation with helical structure only since it can arise from asymmetric carbon atoms, but it might be a very useful method in showing changes of configuration arising from changes of pH etc.
28.11.51
J. T. Randall
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2008-09-24
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