Medicine: Genes & Mental Defectives

Is mental deficiency genetically determined? Probably so, says California Institute of Technology's famed Chemist Linus Pauling. Last week the Ford Foundation announced that it was betting $450,000 (to be spread over five years) on Pauling's hunch.

In all the world, no man was better fitted than Nobel Prizewinner Pauling to probe this problem. In 1949 he crashed through the barrier separating chemistry from medicine when he headed a team of researchers who pinpointed the cause of sickle-cell anemia. Medical men had long known that this disease, common among African peoples (and their U.S. descendants), was inherited in some fashion, but that was...

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