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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from Jacqueline St. Clair to Joshua Lederberg pdf (170,119 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Jacqueline St. Clair to Joshua Lederberg
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (170,119 Bytes)
1957-10-13 (October 13, 1957)
St. Clair, Jacqueline
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of Jacqueline St. Clair.
Lederberg Grouping: No Epoch
Box Number: 72
Folder Number: 36
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Research
SubSeries: Genetics
SubSubSeries: University of Wisconsin
SubSubSubSeries: Research Reports
Folder: St. Clair, Jacqueline, 1957
Oct. 13, 1957
Dear Josh,
Because today I got some respectable results after a good deal of fuzzy and negative ones, I must share my news or pop (like a shocked [scientific symbol]).
Remember the 18 or 20 "L"-mutants I wrote you about before? Well somehow, after a little subculturing, a few of them straightened out and are now fairly clean. I4, for instance, in L2 agar is predominantly protoplastic with a few intermediates plus an occasional normal or deformed rod. In L2 plus hydrolysate, the cells are mostly rods, but peculiar ones: [diagram] etc., also some intermediates and [scientific symbol]'s. In L2 plus DAP, they look like those in L2 alone (i.e., mainly protoplastic). Thus DAP has no restoration effect, but hydrolysate contains at least part of -- or small amounts of -- what is needed. Also, nothing grew at the 100 u penicillin level, in which the culture was first isolated! There are some others, as L31A and B and J2A, which behave similarly but contain fewer [scientific symbol]'s, perhaps 20 percent, without hydrolysate.
All observations are being made microscopically (high power) because it is impossible for me to tell what these mixed ones are in the dissecting scope or by low power microscope.
Now I'm trying things like amino acid mix and yeast extract as repairers. Am also trying a crazy idea: it would be nice to know if these are inherently unclean [?] mutants or if L2 is feeding them a little of what they require for rod formation, so I'll try to force them into 100 percent [scientific symbol]'s by plating in depleted L2 (prepared by growing rods in L2 broth, spinning, adjusting pH, autoclaving, and using this with agar for plating) equals also a backwards method for finding requirement(s). Perhaps waste products will be too overwhelming for growth. Will also try dilute L2. If either of these
(2) work -- or the restorations --, then some detective work begins.
Got a note from Porter last week accepting the manuscript. The office girls are still typing the copy to be dittoed. And the plastic petri plates are still grounded -- no explanation as yet from the manufacturer.
Flu -- maybe Asian -- is approaching epidemic state in Madison. Among the locals, Alan and the Crow family have been hit. It's much worse in Milwaukee, where many thousands of kids are not in school.
[air mail envelop, see original]
(3) Hershey is speaking about virus structure in biochem Wednesday. Will go and keep an ear open for incomplete viruses.
Please tell Esther that I took some colored pictures of the garden as promised. They haven't been developed yet, but my 3.98 dollar brownie never misses! The flowers were most impressive.
Adios --
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