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 gave her
the details about a B8 sample he was sending, and commented on a manuscript Franklin had sent earlier.
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1955-02-23 (February 23, 1955)
Washington University. Henry Shaw School of Botany
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
At last we are shipping you a preparation of protein B8. We are sending you approximately 5.7 milligrams of material in the
hope that this will be sufficient for your purposes. If you need more, we do have about 10 milligrams of additional material
from this same preparation. Our designation for this preparation is: protein B8; preparation T-146. It also bears the Tiselius
run No. 1030 which represents a 90 minute Tiselius run in pH 7.0 phosphate buffer and which indicated that the preparation
is homogeneous and of the expected mobility. This preparation has been through about six reprecipitations and is as pure
as a corresponding TMV preparation. We are shipping it by first-class air mail today. The protein is dissolved in about
2 milliliters of distilled water and is contained in a small dialysis sack. The latter is suspended in distilled water in
a sealed plastic centrifuge tube. I trust that this material will reach you in good condition.
The manuscript which you sent me is, of course, of great interest to us. Would it be possible for you to send me a copy of
the figure in which you present a diagram of your proposed TMV structure? This would help us a great deal in our efforts
to visualize the protein.
In a little while we hope to have a definitive answer to the question of the uniformity of TMV nucleic acid. There is every
likelihood that the amount and base composition of the virus varies with the nutritional conditions in which it is formed.
I shall send you a summary of our latest information on this matter when it becomes available.