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Linus Pauling and Biology at Caltech

Owen, Ray (1995) Linus Pauling and Biology at Caltech. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 209 . 476-CHED. ISSN 0065-7727.

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When Linus returned from Europe in 1927 there was still no Biology Division at Caltech. Apart from his early learning of dietary fats, carbohydrates and proteins in a Domestic Science course at Oregon State, he had evinced little interest in Biology. During his "first five years in science" (Nature, 1 September 1994), he says, "I learned a great deal about modern physics, about mathematics, and about chemistry, especially chemical thermodynamics (which did not appeal to me) and statistical mechanics, which I liked very much and still like." No mention of Biology. It was, in fact, essentially a void at Caltech, suspected by many of being a borderline science at best, perhaps not a science at all. When Linus died in 1994, he was recognized as one of a few pioneers of molecular biology. He had played a key role in the establishment of strength in this area at Caltech, and his interactions with Biology Division people, especially George Beadle and Max Delbruck, in every aspect of the science from initial creative concepts to the secure funding of research, are legendary. This brief talk will attempt to trace, at least partly in Linus Pauling's own words, the transition in Biology at Caltech to which he so greatly contributed.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© 1995 American Chemical Society.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140129-132207207
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43552
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Jan 2014 16:29
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:08

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