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The Francis Crick Papers

Letter from Francis Crick to Jerry Donohue pdf (54,487 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Francis Crick to Jerry Donohue
Crick's letter referred to an account of the debate between Donohue and Maurice Wilkins and colleagues about the determination of DNA structure by Fourier synthesis of X-ray diffraction data published by an unnamed correspondent in the May 2, 1970 issue of Nature (vol.226, p. 404), and to Donohue's response (Nature, vol. 227, July 18, 1970, p.317).
Crick did not in fact publish the "considered article" he announced in his letter. However, in a retrospective, "The Double Helix: A Personal View," published in the April 26, 1974, issue of Molecular Biology (vol. 248, p.768), Crick summarized that Donohue, "whose advice was crucial to our understanding of base pairing, was a persistent critic of the validity of the later X-ray work, but in recent years he had carried it too far, refusing, for example, to admit as evidence the great accumulation of data showing that the two chains are antiparallel."
Number of Image Pages:
1 (54,487 Bytes)
1970-08-03 (August 3, 1970)
Crick, Francis
Donohue, Jerry
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):
Crystallography, X-Ray
Exhibit Category:
Embryology and the Organization of DNA in Higher Organisms, 1966-1976
Metadata Record Letter from Jerry Donohue to Francis Crick (August 10, 1970) pdf (163,563 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Francis Crick to Jerry Donohue [ca. 15 July 1970] pdf (562,010 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 12
Folder Number: PP/CRI/D/2/11/1
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence
SubSeries: Individual Correspondents
SubSubSeries: Correspondence: Donohue, Jerry
Folder: Correspondence with Donohue
3 August 1970
Dear Jerry
I was not surprised that you felt you had to reply to Nature's remarks, but I feel it was a pity that you had to repeat that I did not understand the nature of diffraction, since it is quite clear to me that you did not understand what I meant by effectively centric. I have spoken to John Maddox on the 'phone. Rather than write a hasty letter in reply to yours, I agreed to write a considered article setting out the points at issue as I see them. However, for this I need to know your views on the relative ease of making mistakes for centric and non-centric structures, so that I do not misrepresent you. Could you, therefore, let me have a reply to this point as set out in my last letter (if you have not already done so)?
F. H. C. Crick
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