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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Linus Pauling Quotes > Molecule

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Linus Pauling
(28 Feb 1901 - 19 Aug 1994)

American chemist, physicist and author who applied quantum mechanics to the study of molecular structures, particularly in connection with chemical bonding. Pauling was the only person ever to win two unshared Nobel prizes (Chemistry in 1954, and Peace in 1962).


Linus Pauling Quotes on Molecule (9 quotes)

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Biology today is moving in the direction of chemistry. Much of what is understood in the field is based on the structure of molecules and the properties of molecules in relation to their structure. If you have that basis, then biology isn’t just a collection of disconnected facts.
— Linus Pauling
From interview with Neil A. Campbell, in 'Crossing the Boundaries of Science', BioScience (Dec 1986), 36, No. 11, 737.
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (180)  |  Biochemistry (50)  |  Biology (232)  |  Chemistry (376)  |  Collection (68)  |  Direction (185)  |  Disconnected (3)  |  Fact (1257)  |  Facts (553)  |  Field (378)  |  Molecule (185)  |  Property (177)  |  Relation (166)  |  Structure (365)  |  Today (321)  |  Understand (648)  |  Understood (155)

I think that the formation of [DNA's] structure by Watson and Crick may turn out to be the greatest developments in the field of molecular genetics in recent years.
— Linus Pauling
‘Discussion des rapports de M Pauling’, Rep. Institut International de Chemie Solvay: Conference on Proteins, 6-14 April 1953 (1953), 113.
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If the structure that serves as a template (the gene or virus molecule) consists of, say, two parts, which are themselves complementary In structure, then each of these parts can serve as the mould for the production of a replica of the other part, and the complex of two complementary parts thus can serve as the mould for the production of duplicates of itself.
— Linus Pauling
Molecular Architecture and the Processses of Life (1948), 10.
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It has been recognized that hydrogen bonds restrain protein molecules to their native configurations, and I believe that as the methods of structural chemistry are further applied to physiological problems it will be found that the significance of the hydrogen bond for physiology is greater than that of any other single structural feature.
— Linus Pauling
Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals (1939), 265.
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It is possible with … carbon … to form very large molecules that are stable. This results from the stability of the carbon-to-carbon bond. You must have complexity in order to achieve the versatility characteristic of living organisms. You can achieve this complexity with carbon forming the molecular backbone.
— Linus Pauling
From interview with Neil A. Campbell, in 'Crossing the Boundaries of Science', BioScience (Dec 1986), 36, No. 11, 739.
Science quotes on:  |  Backbone (12)  |  Bond (46)  |  Carbon (68)  |  Characteristic (154)  |  Complexity (121)  |  Form (976)  |  Forming (42)  |  Large (398)  |  Life (1870)  |  Living (492)  |  Molecule (185)  |  Must (1525)  |  Order (638)  |  Organism (231)  |  Possible (560)  |  Result (700)  |  Stability (28)  |  Stable (32)  |  Versatility (5)

It will be possible, through the detailed determination of amino-acid sequences of hemoglobin molecules and of other molecules too, to obtain much information about the course of the evolutionary process, and to illuminate the question of the origin of species.
— Linus Pauling
'Molecular Disease and Evolution'. Typescript of the Rudolph Virchow Lecture (5 Nov 1962). Quoted in T. Hager, Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling (1997), 541.
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Life ... is a relationship between molecules.
— Linus Pauling
Quoted In T. Hager, Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling (1997), 542.
Science quotes on:  |  Life (1870)  |  Molecule (185)  |  Relationship (114)

One can ask: “If I crystallize a virus to obtain a crystal consisting of the molecules that make up the virus, are those molecules lifeless or not?” … The properties of living organisms are those of aggregates of molecules. It’s very difficult to draw a line between molecules that are lifeless and molecules that are not lifeless.
— Linus Pauling
From interview with Neil A. Campbell, in 'Crossing the Boundaries of Science', BioScience (Dec 1986), 36, No. 11, 738.
Science quotes on:  |  Aggregate (24)  |  Ask (420)  |  Crystal (71)  |  Crystallize (12)  |  Definition (238)  |  Difficult (263)  |  Draw (140)  |  Life (1870)  |  Lifeless (15)  |  Living (492)  |  Molecule (185)  |  Obtain (164)  |  Organism (231)  |  Virus (32)

The nucleic acids, as constituents of living organisms, are comparable In importance to proteins. There is evidence that they are Involved In the processes of cell division and growth, that they participate In the transmission of hereditary characters, and that they are important constituents of viruses. An understanding of the molecular structure of the nucleic acids should be of value In the effort to understand the fundamental phenomena of life.
[Co-author with American chemist, B. Corey (1897-1971)]
— Linus Pauling
'A Proposed Structure for the Nucleic Acids', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1953), 39, 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (83)  |  Author (175)  |  Cell (146)  |  Cell Division (6)  |  Character (259)  |  Chemist (169)  |  Comparison (108)  |  Constituent (47)  |  Division (67)  |  Effort (243)  |  Evidence (267)  |  Fundamental (264)  |  Growth (200)  |  Heredity (62)  |  Importance (299)  |  Involved (90)  |  Life (1870)  |  Living (492)  |  Molecular Structure (9)  |  Molecule (185)  |  Nucleic Acid (23)  |  Organism (231)  |  Participation (15)  |  Phenomenon (334)  |  Protein (56)  |  Structure (365)  |  Transmission (34)  |  Understand (648)  |  Understanding (527)  |  Value (393)  |  Virus (32)


See also:
  • 28 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Pauling's birth.
  • Linus Pauling in His Own Words: Selections From his Writings, Speeches and Interviews, by Barbara Marinacci. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for Linus Pauling.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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