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The Marshall W. Nirenberg Papers

Letter from Paul Berg, Stanford University Medical Center to Marshall W. Nirenberg pdf (58,461 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Paul Berg, Stanford University Medical Center to Marshall W. Nirenberg
Berg acknowledges that Nirenberg is no longer doing work on the genetic code and proceeds to explain to Nirenberg the genetic research he is engaged in and the nature of their discoveries. Admitting that he is not a skilled chemist, he asks Nirenberg for two triplets--UAG and CAG--so that they can complete their work.
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1 (58,461 Bytes)
1969-04-15 (April 15, 1969)
Berg, Paul
Stanford University Medical Center
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
Reproduced with permission of Paul Berg.
Exhibit Categories:
Translating the Code of Life and the Nobel Prize, 1962-1968
Transition to Neurobiology, 1965-1969
Box Number: 7
Folder Number: 15
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Series III: Laboratory Administration, [1959]-1993
SubSeries: Daily Books, 1968-1996
Folder: Daily 3: Correspondences, Reprints, 1969 Apr-May
April 15, 1969
Dear Marshall,
I know that you are no longer doing work on the Genetic Code, but I would like to get a favor from you if it is possible. We are in the midst of trying to identify a new suppressor of UAG which we have isolated. We are almost sure that it inserts glutamine, but in contrast to the usual su2 suppressor, this mutation is lethal for the organism. We can carry the mutation in diploids and therefore have been able to study the mechanism of its suppression. In trying to extend this work to in vitro suppression, we have used the f2 sus3 mutant and looking for tRNA-dependent suppression in vitro. We would also like, if we can, to show the suppression by triplet binding, but we are not such good chemists that we can quickly make appropriate triplets. I wonder, therefore, if I can prevail upon you to get some. What we would like to have is some UAG and CAG. We would like to be able to fractionate the suppressor species and monitor that fractionation by the coding response. If you could let us have some of each of the two triplets, it would very much help our effort.
Hope to see you soon,
Paul Berg
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