A. Rich Linus Pauling 9 December 1952
Preparation of fibers of nucleic acid
I suggest that you try to make well oriented fibers of sodium thymonucleate or other nucleic acid preparations by the use
The fact that 50 percent relative humidity seems to be required to give good fibers suggests that substances containing hydroxyl
groups would be satisfactory plasticizers. I think that you should try adding a little glycerine to the solution. Perhaps
ethylene glycol or diethylene glycol would be worth trying. In fact, perhaps all of these substances should be added to the
same preparation - mixed plasticizers often are more effective than the individual plasticizers.
As to other substances, urea and salicylic acid and guanidinium ion might all be worth trying.
There is a possibility that dibutyl phthalate would be
For one preparation you night try putting all of these things in the solution, with the nucleic acid, the plasticizers being
added in rather small amounts.
I am also asking Dr. Marsh to make a spectrometer investigation, and to calculate a radial distribution function. Would you
turn over to him about 0.5 g of a preparation, for this purpose. If your powder photograph of the sodium thymonucleate taken
directly from the bottle gives as good a powder photograph as the recrystallized material, I suggest that you give him a sample
of the material from the bottle. Small amounts of impurities would not be important.
Dictated by Linus Pauling
Signed in his absence:W
cc: Professor Corey L.P.