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The Rosalind Franklin Papers

Letter from Barry Commoner to Rosalind Franklin pdf (84,761 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 commented on a manuscript revision of their first article and offered her samples of some other proteins he had been working with.
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1 (84,761 Bytes)
1955-04-11 (April 11, 1955)
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
April 11, 1955
Dear Dr. Franklin:
Since writing you last I have received the revised manuscript, the separate photograph of the X-ray results and the package containing B8.
The new manuscript seems fine to me. The revisions, which you made in the material which I sent you, were well taken. The problem of the relationship between our B8 and Richs, is very puzzling. The fact that he only discovered the error birefringence after your telegram causes me to have some doubts as to the general accuracy of the work. I am afraid that we shall have to proceed to work out the problems solely on the basis of our own material.
It is too bad that B8 refuses to form a well-oriented gel. I shall be doing some physical studies on B8 solutions very soon and will make some effort to determine whether better orientations can be achieved. If good gels can be obtained, I shall let you know at once.
Would you be interested in looking at the X-ray patterns of some of our I8? We are starting to prepare large batches of this material now and ought to be able to provide you with sufficiently large samples in the near future. I shall also make an effort to prepare, if I can, a stable polymer of B6 and will send it to you if we are successful.
Your comments concerning the possible relationship between the structures of B8 and TMV are very illuminating. We have been giving a good deal of thought to the problem here and in a little while I should like to write you a summary of our thoughts and ask for your suggestions concerning some of the experiments which we would like to conduct.
I shall be interested in learning of the ultimate fate of the manuscript which you have sent to NATURE. When the time cones, would you please order 100 reprints of the paper for our use at my expense.
Sincerely yours,
Barry Commoner
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