Although the chemistry was wrong, Linus Pauling's triple-stranded DNA model was a catalyst for James Watson and Francis Crick to solve the structure of DNA.
(DNAi Location: Code > Finding the Structure>pieces of the puzzle>Pauling's triple helix)
Duration: 27 seconds
This is Linus Pauling's failed attempt to predict the structure of DNA. The problem with his triple helix model is that the phosphates form the helical core, with the bases pointing outwards. This would be impossible under normal cellular conditions. Each phosphate group is negatively charged, and so many negative charges forced together would repel each other, literally driving the structure apart.
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James Watson describes the triple helix model proposed by Linus Pauling.
Animation of 2D DNA model becoming three dimensional.
Linus Pauling's triple-helix model for DNA and the reaction to this incorrect model.
James Watson and Francis Crick explain how they solved the structure of DNA. Erwin Chargaff explain how he measured the levels of each of the four nitrogenous bases.
In 1952, Linus Pauling proposed a triple-stranded helix structure for DNA.
In 1952, Peter Pauling was a student at Cambridge when his father, Linus, sent him a paper proposing that DNA was a triple helix. James (Jim) Watson eagerly read the paper and realized that Pauling got it wrong.
15492. Discovering the double helix structure of DNA, James Watson, video with 3D animation and narration
James Watson used cardboard cutouts representing the shapes of the DNA bases to figure out how bases pair.
Image depicting DNA helix model and table.
Erwin Chargaff found that in DNA, the ratios of adenine (A) to thymine (T) and guanine (G) to cytosine (C) are equal. This parity is obvious in the final DNA structure.