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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

Title:
Letter from Martin R. Pollock to Joshua Lederberg pdf (65,886 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Martin R. Pollock to Joshua Lederberg
Number of Image Pages:
1 (65,886 Bytes)
Date:
1973-01-08 (January 8, 1973)
Creator:
Pollock, Martin R.
Recipient:
Lederberg, Joshua
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Julian Pollock.
Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
DNA
History of Medicine
Exhibit Categories:
Shifting Focus: Early Work on Bacterial Transformation, 1928-1940
After the Discovery: The Transforming Principle's Reception by the Scientific Community
Box Number: 5
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
CCAARD
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:
8th January, 1973.
Dear Josh,
Many thanks for your note of December 26 and for all the interesting odds and ends of correspondence you kindly sent with it. I am glad the problem about the Avery Griffith meeting seems now to have been pretty clearly settled.
I would be very interested to know how and in what form all your recent researches into this problem materialize. As I mentioned previously I am concentrating more on the period 1860-1900 which I find most intriguing.
My guess is that biologists did in general think that DNA was "important"; but certainly not necessarily others such as organic chemists. I remember having quite a violent argument with a distinguished organic chemist in 1946 when I pointed out that I saw no reason in principle why DNA should not contain as much specificity as proteins. Did not quite a number of scientists consider its role was primarily structural and supporting in those early days - or at least providing a mechanism for duplication, without necessarily bearing the necessary specificity for transmission of heritable characters? (I am avoiding the use of the word "information" since I think I am right in supposing this came very much later: was it not as a result of a letter you and others wrote to Nature sometime in the '50's?)
With kind regards,
Yours ever,
Martin
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2013-04-26
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