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The Francis Crick Papers

Letter from Francis Crick to W. Traub pdf (71,581 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Francis Crick to W. Traub
Crick here reviewed his work with Alexander Rich on collagen during the 1950s. Collagens make up a family of proteins that share a triple-helical shape (three strands of a polypeptide chain wound around one another, corkscrew-like) and that are a major structural component of connective tissue, giving it strength and flexibility.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (71,581 Bytes)
1970-01-02 (January 2, 1970)
Crick, Francis
Traub, W.
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
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Reproduced with permission of the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Exhibit Category:
Embryology and the Organization of DNA in Higher Organisms, 1966-1976
Box Number: 11
Folder Number: PP/CRI/D/1/1/19
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence
SubSeries: Alphabetical Correspondence
SubSubSeries: Correspondence 1
Folder: Correspondence T
2 January I970
Dear Dr. Traub
I was glad to receive the reprints you sent me. In recent years I have rather lost touch with the subject of collagen, so I was especially pleased to see that your work leads to a model which is fairly close to the old collagen II model. We realized in 1961 that not much further progress could be made on the structure of collagen unless repeating synthetic polypeptides were studied. Personally, I never believed Ramachandran's model with the two hydrogen bonds. Apart from anything else, it seemed to me to be stereochemically unlikely. Both Alex Rich and I decided, however, that we did not wish to get involved further with the problem, mainly because of the competing interest of protein synthesis and the genetic code, although we did feel a little guilty about not following up our earlier work. You will realize, therefore, that I am especially delighted that you should have done such an excellent job and particularly as the result has come out, in the way we hoped.
With all good wishes for 1970.
Yours sincerely
F.H.C. Crick
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