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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Title:
Terminology in Bacterial Genetics Annotation pdf (172,359 Bytes) ocr (6,516 Bytes)
Terminology in Bacterial Genetics
Description:
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (172,359 Bytes)
Date:
1953-04-18 (April 18, 1953)
Creator:
Ephrussi, Boris
Watson, James D.
Weigle, Jean
Leopold, Urs
Source:
Nature 4355: 701
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Anne Ephrussi.
Relation:
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence C
Box Number: 10
Folder Number: 42
Unique Identifier:
BBAJMI
Accession Number:
13
Document Type:
Articles
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1953-1960
Folder: Ephrussi, Boris
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2005-06-30
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples

Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW: Ephrussi, Leupold, Watson, Weigle in letter to Nature, 4/18/53
suggest "interbacterial information" ...  does not imply necessarily
the transfer of material substances, and recognizes the possible
future importance of cybernetics at the bacterial level".
------
She was oblivious that this was a spoof.  4/30/04

From:  Lily Kay: Who wrote the book of life. P. 58

 ...  For Watson, 1953 marked a shift in representation.  Prior to 1953, his
papers had referred to replication and mutation in terms of genetic transfer,
genetic specificity, and genetic continuity.  But in anticipation of the
potential contributions of cybernetics and information theory to biology,
Watson and Crick consciously began to represent their findings through an
information discourse.  In a letter to Nature (just before their announcement
of the double helix), Watson together with geneticist Boris Ephrussi and
physicists Urs Leopold and J.J. Weigle, suggested new terminology in bacterial
genetics.  Seeking to impose rhetorical order on the proliferating semantic
confusion in the field (transformation, recombination, induction, transduction,
etc.), they proposed to replace these uses with the term inter-bacterial
information.  "It does not imply," they argued, "necessarily the transfer of
material substances, and recognizes the possible future importance of cybernetics
at the bacterial level."



jl  8/29/99