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, Commoner
explained a delay in sending the B8 samples, and told Franklin about some recent work being done at the virus laboratory at
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1955-01-10 (January 10, 1955)
Washington University. Henry Shaw School of Botany
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
I must apologize for having failed to send you any of our material thus far. We ran into several emergency problems resulting
from some greenhouse difficulties which required the exclusive attention of the staff. As a result, we have not yet had a
chance to make up a B8 preparation for you. However, we expect to be able to get this done within a week or two. I will
write you air mail in advance of mailing the sample so you can be prepared for it.
While I was in Berkeley recently, Robley Williams told me of some electron microscope experiments with TMV. He has observed
in artificially broken rods fine threads which emerge from the center of the broken ends of the rods. He believes that these
threads are the virus RNA because they are removed by treatment with ribonuclease. I don't think that this evidence is
very strong but thought that you would be interested in knowing that this group seems to be working on the notion that the
nucleic acid is, in fact, in the center of the rod.
Under separate cover I am sending you reprints of our recent work in which you may be interested.