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The Rosalind Franklin Papers

Letter from Barry Commoner to Rosalind Franklin pdf (87,602 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Barry Commoner to Rosalind Franklin
During her 1954 visit to the United States, Franklin visited many virus researchers who would subsequently collaborate with her on projects involving virus structures. Barry Commoner sent her samples of a protein he called B8, to compare with the x-ray diffraction studies of TMV protein. They subsequently published several articles together. In this letter he confirmed that he would soon send the B8 samples, and discussed other virus fractions he thought would interest her.
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1 (87,602 Bytes)
1954-11-28 (November 28, 1954)
Commoner, Barry
Washington University. Henry Shaw School of Botany
Franklin, Rosalind
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
Reproduced with permission of Barry Commoner.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Tobacco Mosaic Virus
X-Ray Diffraction
Exhibit Category:
Envisioning Viruses: Birkbeck College, London, 1953-1958
Folder Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Series: Work on Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)
Folder: Correspondence Regarding Franklin's Research, 1953-1958
November 28, 1954
Dear Dr. Franklin:
I was very glad to get your letter and to learn that you are ready to look at some of our proteins. We are going through our collection of nonvirus proteins to determine sedimentation constants at the moment and within a week or so I shall be able to set aside some B8 for you. I will write you air mail at the time the material is shipped so that you can be ready for it.
Your information on the high density shell in TMV is of great interest to us. I heard from Caspar the other day and he said that since his calculations show that the zone has a thickness of the order of 5 angstroms, it is possible that the shell does in fact represent the location of virus PNA. Any conclusive evidence concerning the location of PNA will be very important to us for it will serve as a useful guidepost in our thinking about the relation between TMV and the nonvirus proteins. I would welcome your observations on this problem.
In the last few weeks we have been studying the distribution of TMV in specific gravity gradient tubes in the ultracentrifuge in the hope of finding in our bulk virus fractions which differ in nucleic acid content. Thus far, it does appear that TMV which is homogeneous in the Tiselius apparatus can be separated into at least two and possibly more fractions with respect to specific gravity. Again this problem may bear on your findings of a high density shell in TMV. If we can prepare virus fractions which differ in specific gravity, I should very much like to send you some for examination. In any event, I am delighted to know that you are ready to look at our material and shall do all I can to keep you well supplied with samples.
Sincerely yours,
Barry Commoner
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