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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

Title:
Letter from Stephen Zamenhof to Joshua Lederberg pdf (63,151 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Stephen Zamenhof to Joshua Lederberg
Number of Image Pages:
1 (63,151 Bytes)
Date:
1978-02-28 (February 28, 1978)
Creator:
Zamenhof, Stephen
Recipient:
Lederberg, Joshua
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Patrice Joy Zamenhof.
Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
DNA
Transformation, Genetic
Exhibit Category:
After the Discovery: The Transforming Principle's Reception by the Scientific Community
Box Number: 5
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
CCAALE
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005
SubSeries: Inquiries on Avery
Folder: Lederberg Inquiries, 1962, 1972-1978
Transcript:
February 28, 1978
Dear Josh:
Thank you for your kind letter of February 14. I was, indeed, an early believer in the importance of DNA, so much so that I was trying to convince you at the 1946 Cold Spring Harbor Symposium that your recombination in E. coli is only a transformation. But I have no recollection of the debate with Lwoff or Delbruck on this subject. I don't have any written material on the reception of Avery's discovery in 1944, I only remember that Demerec told me about it in 1944; we were both very intrigued but still cautious. However, in 1946 I was already working (under Chargaff) on isolation of DNA from yeast (which up to that time was believed to contain only RNA ("yeast nucleic acid"); thus, Chargaff and I became early adherents to the glory of DNA. Then, around 1948 our lab obtained chromatographic evidence that DNA is not a tetranucleotide. As you know, Mirsky and all the protein boys were the opponents: to them, in 1948 DNA was still just a prosthetic group,
Please do not hesitate to write to me if I can be of any historical help.
With best regards,
Stephen Zamenhof, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbial Genetics and Biological Chemistry
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2013-01-23
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