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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Oswald T. Avery pdf (101,718 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Oswald T. Avery
In this letter, Lederberg asked if Avery could share a sample of p-nitrophenol-b-galactopyramoside from a study Avery conducted with Walther Goebel in 1929.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (101,718 Bytes)
1948-01-15 (January 15, 1948)
Lederberg, Joshua
Avery, Oswald T.
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Equipment and Supplies
Exhibit Category:
The "Sugar-Coated Microbe" and the Search for a Cure for Pneumonia, 1919-1929
Metadata Record Letter from Oswald T. Avery to Joshua Lederberg (January 20, 1948) pdf (42,357 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Personal and Biographical, 1931-2000
Folder: Additional Materials Relating to O.T. Avery, 1931-1948, 1960-1972, 1987-1999
January 15, 1948
Dear Dr. Avery,
Since my establishment here at Wisconsin, I have been occupying myself with applying the genetical technique Tatum and I have learned with E. coli to the problem of gene-enzyme relationships in this bacterium. To that end, I have been studying mutations affecting lactase activity, and it may suffice to mention now that a plurality of them have been found, somewhat to my surprise. I would have predicted that all mutations affecting a single enzyme would involve the same gene. The problem: is there indeed but a single enzyme?
I am addressing this letter to you to enquire whether you still happen to have a sample of p-nitrophenol-b-galactopyramoside, reported by Goebel and yourself nearly two decades ago (JEM 50, 1929). It occurred to me that this compound, in view of the pH shift in the absorption spectrum of p-nitrophenol, might be a useful chromogenic substrate to assay galactosidase activity. If possible, I would like to test this notion on a small sample (1-2 gms.) before undertaking a large scale preparation. While I would like to ask for this quantity, I could run tests on, say, a tenth that amount. If you can find the bottle, your cooperation would be greatly appreciated.
Best regards,
Joshua Lederberg
Assistant Professor of Genetics
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