Sep 252012 Narrator Dr. Pauling, in the last few years you have become interested in the biochemical basis of medicine, mental disease, and so on. Could you tell us what led you into this new work? Dr. Pauling: Well, I think that it was the discovery of sickle cell anemia as a molecular disease that has led to our present activities on the chemical basis of mental disease. You see, nobody had thought before that there could be abnormal molecules of proteins and that they could be responsible for disease. Genetic diseases have been known. You know that each human being has about, let’s say, a hundred thousand genes that he has inherited from his father and mother. Half from his father and half from the mother. These genes are now known to be molecules of a substance called deoxyribonucleic acid and each of these molecules has a little code of information on it that permits it to manufacture duplicates of itself to be handed on for example, to one’s children, and also to manufacture special molecules such as the molecules of proteins, in which each atom is put in its right place in this product molecule. Each of these genes sets up an assembly line for manufacturing protein molecules. When we began studying hemoglobin — the abnormal hemoglobin that produces sickle cell anemia — we found a very interesting result. The hemoglobin in the apparatus in which an electric field operates on the hemoglobin molecules and pulls normal hemoglobin molecules to

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