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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

[Observations by Avery and Karl Landsteiner on Linus Pauling's work on artificial antibodies] pdf (123,971 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Observations by Avery and Karl Landsteiner on Linus Pauling's work on artificial antibodies]
Hanson was associate director of the Natural Sciences program of the Rockefeller Foundation. These notes are from Hanson's office diary.
NOTE: The handwriting at the bottom left corner of the page belongs to Dr. Joshua Lederberg. Dr. Lederberg gathered materials from the Rockefeller Archive Center (note the stamp in the bottom right corner) for his research on Oswald Avery. Neither the stamp nor Lederberg's note are on the original document.
NOTE: The note in the upper right corner of the page was written lightly in pencil and is illegible on the scanned copy.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (123,971 Bytes)
1943-04-30 (April 30, 1943)
Hanson, Frank B.
Rockefeller Foundation. Natural Sciences Division
Original Repository: Rockefeller Archive Center
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Reproduced with permission of the Rockefeller Archive Center.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Research Support as Topic
Exhibit Category:
DNA as the "Stuff of Genes": The Discovery of the Transforming Principle, 1940-1944
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Personal and Biographical, 1931-2000
Folder: Additional Materials Relating to O.T. Avery, 1931-1948, 1960-1972, 1987-1999
Friday, April 30 - 1943.
Karl Landsteiner
Re: Linus Pauling's work on artificial antibodies
L. repeats much of what he said a year ago in recommending assistance to Pauling--that if antibodies can be produced in vitro this will be one of the great achievements in immunology. If it proves to be true, any amount of money expended would not be wasted. L., however, is critical of Pauling's work to date. He, himself, tried, in a very small way, to repeat P.'s experiments and got negative results. He does not stress this, however, since his experiments were most modest and since it is not possible at present exactly to repeat P.'s technique. L.'s general conclusion is that if he were a betting man he would think the chances less than 50-50 that P. has manufactured antibodies. He also believes that P. is working on an unnecessarily broad front, that if he solved the central problem of producing antibodies in a test-tube, that is all that is necessary to open up great vistas of research for many workers and to attract financial support from many sources.
Oswald T. Avery
Re: Linus Pauling's work on artificial antibodies.
Since part of Pauling's report dealt with experiments in producing some protection against disease in mice, extending their average length of life, following inoculation, over the controls by 24 hours, Landsteiner suggested that FBH see Avery, who would be greatly interested on this aspect of Pauling's work.
A. says he is not impressed with the results of attempting to protect mice with Pauling's materials. He does, however, in common with others consulted, believe that this work should be supported to the extent that is necessary to demonstrate it is a truth or falsity, although, as Landsteiner pointed out, the negative of Pauling's theory could never be proved. A. happens to know Sturtevant, Tyler and the biological group for whom part of the grant would be used, and thinks very highly of this able group of geneticists working in the immunological field.
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