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March 21 1953
Dear Dr. Pauling
Dear Dr. Pauling
Francis CrickWe intended to write to you about our DNA structure before this, but one of us (J.W.) has been away in Paris and we have also been delayed because Professor Bragg has been down with flu. We enclose a draft of a letter to Nature which gives the essential features of our structure. We have a model of it and have derived co-ordinates; all of the Van der Waals distances are acceptable.
We felt we could hardly omit any mention of your structure nor did we feel it reasonable to supress our doubts about it. Without your permission we could not mention that you have modified it. However we can always qualify our remarks in proof.
It is planned that the Kings College workers will publish some of their experimental data at the same time as our letter. Wilkins tells us that he intends to send you a copy of their communication in advance of publication as soon as it is in final draft.
We are looking forward very much to your visit and the opportunity for a full discussion about DNA. Would you mind treating this as confidential for a few days as Professor Bragg has still not been able to hear about it.
Pauling ya conocía el hallazgo de la doble hélice del ADN porque se lo había chivado Max Delbrück, como contó Watson en su libro La doble hélice. Fue en esta carta del propio Watson a Delbrück donde le proporciona los detalles de su descubrimiento, y menciona explícitamente que no se lo contara a Pauling. Al parecer, pese a que pueda pensarse lo contrario, Linus Pauling se alegró del descubrimiento.
NOTA: Esta entrada participa en la XVII Edición del Carnaval de Química que organiza Nahúm Chazarra en su blog Un geólogo en apuros.