Letter from Francois Jacob to Marshall W. Nirenberg
By 1970, Marshall Nirenberg had turned his attention to neurobiology and developed valuable microassays for enzyme study.
In this letter, Jacob requests information from Nirenberg on techniques and protocols for enzyme and transmitter assays in
mouse nervous system and mouse cell culture research. He informs Nirenberg that he has left his own work on nematodes and
asks what is new with Nirenberg's own nematode or neuroblastoma research.
I understand from the paper of Gordon Sato in PNAS that you have developed a series of elegant micro-assays for the enzymes
of catecholamine, acetylcholine, serotonin and GABA biosynthesis and catabolism.
I have left the nematodes which do not allow me to do what I would like. I am turning now to work on mouse nervous system
and mouse cell cultures. I have of course no experience in the field, but I would very much like to have in hand the techniques
for the study of the transmitters. If you have no objection, I would be very grateful for a detailed protocol for these enzyme
and transmitter assays.
What is new with nematodes with mouse neuro-blastoma and other cells in your lab? Is there any chance to see you around Paris
in the near future?