Interim Note: Studies on the Physical Properties of the Cytoplasm of Cells in Tissue Culture
The technique to which Crick referred here was invented by Arthur Hughes, a technique by which small particles of magnetic
ore were inserted into cultured chick fibroblast cells. The cells engulfed the particles, which could then be moved around
inside the cells by an applied magnet field, yielding data on the physical properties of the cytoplasm, the material of the
cell that surrounds the nucleus. Crick described and analyzed the results obtained from these experiments in two papers,
mentioned here as drafts and published in 1950, his first published papers.
More importantly for his scientific career in the long term, Crick in this note declared his intention to transfer to the
Medical Research Council's unit at the Cavendish Laboratory in order to study the structure of proteins with Max Perutz.
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Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
Thank you for your kind words about my article and especially for your reminiscences. It is really rather surprising how
Chargaff, while frequently being witty, has almost always been wrong. Pirie, though rather different in character, has always
been obstinately sceptical. I had no idea that he said that about the genetic code in 1963 and would be glad to have the
As you probably know, I first realised that nucleic acid would have a lot of evolutionary information in 1958. I have always
been mildly supprised that I subsequently have done nothing about it but thanks to your efforts and those of several others
the matter seems to be in good hands.
I have given up travelling for the time being so that I can lead a quiet life, so we are unlikely to meet in the near future
unless you come to England.