The computation of Fourier syntheses with a digital electronic calculating machine + Cochran, Crick & Vand

Publisher Information: 1952. (1) Bennett, John and Kendrew, John (1917-97). The computation of Fourier syntheses with a digital electronic calculating machine. In Acta Crystallographica 5 (1952): 109-116. (2) Cochran, William; Crick, Francis (1916-2004); and Vand, Vladimir. The structure of synthetic polypeptides. I. The transform of atoms on a helix. In ibid.: 581-586. Whole volume. [2], 869pp. 45 plates, text illustrations. Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard, 1952. 261 x 196 mm. Library buckram. Light finger-soiling to lower corner, but very good. Book Id: 39098

(1) First Edition. The first paper published in a scientific journal on the application of an electronic computer to computational biology. An expansion of a briefer summary published in the Manchester University Computer Conference Proceedings (1951), it represents a more thorough presentation intended for x-ray crystallographers. It must have been submitted almost immediately after the Manchester Conference since it was received by Acta Crystallographica on July 28, 1951.

"Programmes have been devised for computing Patterson and Fourier synthesis in two and three dimensions with the EDSAC. An outline of the methods used is given and future possibilities are discussed. At present a two-dimensional summation of about 400 independent terms for about 2000 points takes 1 hr.; a three-dimensional summation of 2000 terms for 18,000 points takes 9 hr. A method is described whereby the EDSAC, without special modification, can be made to print results directly in contour form with considerable economy in time." (p.[109]). Origins of Cyberspace 745.

(2) First Edition. "Crick's full mathematical treatment . . . of the x-ray patterns produced by helical molecules generally" (Judson, Eighth Day of Creation, p. 129). The paper gives the formulae for the Fourier transforms of a number of helical structures, and provides evidence that the structure of a synthetic polypeptide was based on the alpha helix of Pauling and Corey.

"It was, I believe, the first fairly conclusive experimental evidence for the existence of a helical structure at the molecular level. . . . The main value of this work, seen in retrospect, is that it was a first step on the road to the discovery of the structure of DNA by Jim Watson and Crick" (Cochran, "This week's citation classic," Current Contents [May 18, 1987]: 16).

In addition to these two papers, this volume of Acta Crystallographica contains Crick's "The height of the vector rods in the three-dimensional Patterson of haemoglobin" (p. 381) and three papers by W. L. Bragg and Max Perutz on protein structure: "Arrangement of polypeptide chains in horse methaemoglobin" (p. 136); "The external form of the haemoglobin molecule I" (p. 277); and "The external form of the haemoglobin molecule II" (p. 323).


Price: $1,500.00

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