Original Repository: Oregon State University. Library. Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. Oregon State University Library.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
The Search for the Molecular Helix
Two Nobel Prizes
October 16, 1950
I do not remember whether or not I answered your letter of September 6 when it arrived. At any rate, it will not do any harm
for me to answer it again.
Our protein program is moving along very well. It is in general considerably different for that which you sketch out in your
letter, in that we do not propose to try to work out a structure from a set of diffraction data without any a priori assumptions.
You know that our program of determining the structures of amino acids and peptides and other simpler substances was for the
purpose of providing metrical information that would permit us to predict structures for proteins, which could then be subjected
to experimental tests.
The first part of our attack is, however, similar to yours--that of examining data for globular proteins to find the distribution
of globules with high atomic density. This has already been done here for lysozyme, and I hope that the results will be published
before long. They are held up at present because we have been so excited by our success in the prediction of structures that
we are concentrating on this aspect of the problem.
I agree with you that the whole protein problem is such an important one that it is well worth while to have a large number
of people working on it.