Letter from Jerry Donohue to Francis Crick


Title:
Letter from Jerry Donohue to Francis Crick
Description:
In his letter Donohue recited his contention that Fourier analysis of recent X-ray diffraction data did not conclusively prove the validity of Watson's and Crick's model of base-pairing in DNA. (Fourier analysis is a mathematical technique used to calculate the periodic functions that arise in situations of cylindrical symmetry, such as in fiber crystals of DNA.) Instead, Donohue claimed that the data was compatible with alternative base-pairings as well. Donohue dismissed biochemical evidence for the Watson-Crick model of DNA, for instance evidence for the antiparallel direction of the two strands, as irrelevant to his argument, which he claimed was based on crystallography, not biochemistry.. Crick did not in fact publish the "considered article" he mentioned in Donohue's letter. However, in a retrospective, "The Double Helix: A Personal View," published in the April 26, 1974, issue of Nature (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 . . ."
Extent:
2 pages
Date Created:
10 August 1970
Creator:
Donohue, Jerry (Jerry Donohue)
Recipient:
Crick, Francis, 1916-2004
Source:
Original Repository. Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers. 11646. URL. http://archives.wellcome.ac.uk/
Original Repository:
The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
Right Type:
Rights Could Not Be Determined - Release
Right Statement:
Courtesy of the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.
Disclaimer:
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Subject:
DNA and Crystallography, X-Ray
Profiles in Science ID:
SCBBMX
NLM ID:
101584582X184
Genre:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
Text
Location:
Box: 21. Folder: PP/CRI/D/2/11/1