Books of Special Interest

Book cover Linus Pauling: Selected Scientific Papers, Volume I & II

(World Scientific Series in 20th Century chemistry, Volume 10)

edited by Barclay Kamb, Linda Pauling Kamb, Peter Jeffress Pauling, Alexander Kamb, and Linus Pauling Jr.

Linus Pauling has been called an American hero, a force of nature, and, in an essay published in the distinguished journal Nature, one of the "great thinkers and visionaries of the millennium", along with Galileo, Da Vinci, Newton, and Einstein. Dr. Arthur Kornberg of Stanford University (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1959) has written that Pauling's "breadth of... scientific knowledge and the extent of his contributions to the gamut of sciences from physics to chemistry to biology and to the social sciences are unmatched". In his preface to Linus Pauling: Selected Scientific Papers, Dr. Ahmed Zewail of the California Institute of Technology (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1999) refers to Pauling as the "great pharaoh of chemistry" who was to chemistry what the Great Pyramid of Cheops is to the world, a giant who will be remembered forever. For anyone who wonders about the validity of these accolades, this book provides the answer.

Volume I covers the physical sciences, with a focus on the chemical bond and the properties of crystal and molecular structure. Volume II encompasses the biomolecular sciences, with sections on biological macromolecules and health and medicine. As co-editor Peter Pauling explains in the preface, each co-editor took responsibility for a different section and selected the representative and seminal papers for inclusion. The papers included in this set were chosen from about 850 scientific publications in consultation with experts in the many fields to which Pauling contributed. Exact facsimiles of the original publications are appealingly presented, and each section is illustrated with a few pages of photographs selected by co-editor Linda Pauling Kamb. A succinct scientific biography by Dr. Jack Dunitz serves as the final chapter. Three appendices conclude the nearly 1,600 page tome, providing a citation index and the list of Pauling's scientific publications.

There is something here for everyone interested in science and medicine. Of particular interest to LPI newsletter readers are chapters 16 and 17 of Volume II. These chapters reprint influential and provocative papers on orthomolecular psychiatry, the use of the Hardin Jones principle in assessing clinical cancer trials, the inhibition of HIV in cell culture by vitamin C, and the therapeutic application of vitamin C for the common cold, cancer, and heart disease.

From the nature of the chemical bond; the structure of inorganic substances like topaz, mica, and water; theories of the color of dyes and ferromagnetism; and the structure of atomic nuclei to the structure of proteins, theories of antibody formation and anesthesia, the cause of sickle-cell anemia, the molecular clock useful in dating the divergence of species, and orthomolecular medicine, this book documents Pauling's lifelong pursuit of truth and his quest to understand the secrets of nature. As a roadmap of twentieth century science, it is a dazzling tour de force.

 

Book cover The Roots of Molecular Medicine: A Tribute to Linus Pauling

edited by Richard P. Huemer

This wonderful tribute to Linus Pauling, published in 1986 and still available, is based on a symposium held in San Francisco in 1983. The Roots of Molecular Medicine provides a fascinating insight into the seminal work in this field by Linus Pauling. In the first two parts of this extensively indexed book, physicians and scientists contribute compelling chapters on the biochemistry of disease and the link between nutrition and health that bear on the development of orthomolecular medicine, the term Pauling coined to describe the prevention and treatment of disease by varying the concentration of molecules normally present in the body. The third section presents an equally important aspect of Pauling’s life: the role of the scientist in society. Pauling himself contributed a warm, personal reflection that encompassed his desire for a peaceful world, his work on biological specificity that provides the foundation for molecular biology, and two of his favorite molecules—hemoglobin and vitamin C.

Chapters were contributed by many of Pauling's friends and colleagues. Irwin Stone, who first introduced Linus Pauling to the value of doses of vitamin C larger than the RDA, writes on the evolutionary history of vitamin C and scurvy. Pauling's collaborator on the molecular clock, Emile Zuckerkandl, addresses the pre-disposition to cancer. Ewan Cameron, who treated cancer patients in Scotland with vitamin C and became LPI's medical director, discusses the connection between vitamin C and carnitine that may increase the sense of well-being in cancer patients. Richard Kunin provides an overview of orthomolecular psychiatry, and Editor Richard Huemer presents some biographical information elevant to Pauling’s work in medicine. The aging process is discussed by Denham Harman, the leading proponent of the free radical theory of aging. John Catchpool, who Pauling met in Africa while visiting Albert Schweitzer, describes the development of Pauling's social conscience and the tribulations that followed. The final chapter gives Pauling's 25 most cited publications, listed by his long-term collaborator, Zelek Herman.

Roots is a terrific, timeless celebration of Linus Pauling’s progress from molecular to orthomolecular medicine.

Last updated May, 2002


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