Linus Pauling

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Linus Pauling

Linus Carl Pauling (Portland, Oregon, February 28, 1901-Big Sur, California, August 19, 1994) was a chemical engineer, biochemist and American activist. He himself was considered a crystallographer, molecular biologist and medical researcher. He was one of the first quantum chemists, and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954, for his work in describing chemical bonds.

Pauling is, until now, one of the few people who have received the Nobel Prize on more than one occasion, and both times individually, [Note 1] since he also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, for its campaign against terrestrial nuclear tests.

He contributed to the definition of the structure of crystals and proteins, and was one of the founders of molecular biology. He is recognized as a very versatile scientist, due to his contributions in various fields, among them: quantum chemistry, inorganic and organic chemistry, metallurgy, immunology, anesthesiology, psychology and radioactive decay. [Citation required]

Additionally, Pauling advocated the consumption of large doses of vitamin C, something that is now considered outside of medical orthodoxy.

In 1939 he published his most important work, The Nature of the Chemical Bond, in which he developed the concept of hybridization of atomic orbitals. Both his work on blood plasma substitutes (with Harvey Itano), during World War II, and his research on sickle cell anemia (or sickle cell disease, which he called the revolutionary term “molecular disease”), greatly influenced measure in the investigation of the biology of the second half of the 20th century. Pauling discovered the structure of the alpha helix (the secondary coiling of proteins), which led him to approach the discovery of the “double helix” of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), shortly before James Dewey Watson (1928- ) and Francis Crick (1916-2004) made the discovery in 1953. In fact, proposed a structure in the form of a triple helix, which, studying the DNA by radio-crystallography, could have led to the development of a model in the form of a double helix .

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