Remembrance of Things Past

A Career in Chiroptical Research
  • Jen Tsi Yang


The 1950s were an exciting period for biochemistry and molecular biology. In particular, the physicochemical studies of proteins and nucleic acids began intensively at that time. In 1951 L. Pauling and R. B. Corey discovered the α helix and β sheets as components of protein structure (Pauling et al., 1951). According to Pauling, he had been model-building with strips of paper just to keep himself busy while in bed in Oxford with a cold. Out of this came the models of the helices and pleated sheets. Also in 1951, F. Sanger solved the amino acid sequence of the 51-residue insulin, the beginning of our studies of the primary structures of proteins (Sanger and Tuppy, 1951a,ó). At that time almost every conference on proteins would present one sequence after another of globular proteins. Then, in 1953 J. Watson and F. H. C. Crick won the race against Pauling* to discover the structure of DNA (Watson and Crick, 1953; see also Watson’s popular book, The Double Helix). J. C. Kendrew and M. F. Perutz were studying the x-ray diffraction of sperm whale myoglobin and hemoglobin, which would not be completed until the early 1960s (Kendrew et al., 1960, 1961; Perutz et al., 1960; Cullis et al., 1962).


Circular Dichroism Rotatory Dispersion Circular Dichroism Band Flow Birefringence Optical Rotatory Dispersion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations Used in This Chapter


optical rotator dispersion


circular dichroism


bovine serum albumin


poly (γ-benzyl-α,L-glutamate)


poly (α,L-glutamic acid)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jen Tsi Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiovascular Research InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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