Several letters to and from Francis Crick show the tensions between Crick and two other English labs as they fought each other and their American rival Linus Pauling in the race to discover the structure of DNA, says the New York Times' Nicholas Wade. The letters were written over a 26-year period as Crick was guiding the progress of molecular biologists worldwide to establish how DNA operates in living cells, Wade says. After Crick and Watson's first disastrous try to build a DNA model based on data gathered by Rosalind Franklin, one of Crick's correspondents predicted doom ahead for their efforts. Crick, Wade says, remained cheerful, writing, "So cheer up and take it from us that even if we kicked you in the pants it was between friends." The letters were thought to have been destroyed long ago, Wade adds. But as it turns out, the letters were mingled with papers from Crick's colleague, Sydney Brenner, who recently donated all his files to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where they were found by the lab's publishing unit editor.
The Crick Letters
Sep 30, 2010