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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from Bernard D. Davis to Joshua Lederberg pdf (166,716 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Bernard D. Davis to Joshua Lederberg
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (166,716 Bytes)
1949-08-02 (August 2, 1949)
Davis, Bernard D.
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of Elizabeth M. Davis.
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence B
Box Number: 6
Folder Number: 200
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1947-1953
Folder: Davis, Bernard D.
Aug 2, 1940
Dear Joshua,
The news of the high efficiency of recombination in special cases is most exciting, and I've taken the liberty of passing it on to Van Niel and others here. I'm not sure I know exactly what is meant by "nearly 100 percent", but it sounds like a big step.
You are correct in concluding that we get fewer recombinants on plates than you, rather than more in the tubes. Yet, before you dismiss from your mind the possible significance of the findings, I'd like to add that the reason is not that our agar is too clean (i.e. with respect to the gr. reg. of these strains.) For we got identical results in agar slightly enriched with the requirements of the recombinig strains. I didn't mention this earlier because it didn't seem to show anything interesting - that is, we originally set up the expt. to see whether traces of gr. factors would promote the appearance of recombinant prototrophs[?], as they do with U-V induced reversions prototrophs[?]. They didn't, probably because the mutual syntrophism of the two strains, in their enormous[?]
inocula[?]; outweighed any effect of added traces.
I hope you enjoy Gordon Allen's visit, and will not let it keep you back from getting off soon to a cooler spot. I've urged him to stay on as long as you'll have him - but it's only fair to balance this pressure by urging you to feel no obligation to stay. It's so cool here that I feel like stinker every time I write East.
The Novicks are here this month, and Ginny just came down for the weekend; Luria may be coming there soon. I'm so enjoying the effortless pleasure of learning from Van Niel that I've postponed visiting Pasadena until the trip back East, early in Sept.
I hope you and Esther get a comfortable vacation. My regards to Gordon.
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