Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The Oswald T. Avery Collection

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)
1978-02-28 (February 28, 1978)
Zamenhof, Stephen
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of Patrice Joy Zamenhof.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Transformation, Genetic
Exhibit Category:
After the Discovery: The Transforming Principle's Reception by the Scientific Community
Box Number: 5
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005
SubSeries: Inquiries on Avery
Folder: Lederberg Inquiries, 1962, 1972-1978
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:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples