During her 1954 visit to the United States, Franklin made many new contacts among the virus researchers all over the country.
Alexander Rich was working on studies of TMV protein that closely paralleled Franklin's and they were in frequent communication
during 1955. In this letter he gave her an update on his own work and noted that Robley Williams at the Berkeley virus lab
had recently separated TMV protein from its RNA, with measurements of the latter very close to those obtained by Rich and
Item is handwritten.
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2 (108,741 Bytes)
1955-02-22 (February 22, 1955)
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
I'm sorry not to have answered sooner. However, as you can see by the enclosure, I have by now finished my comments on
the abnormal protein.
We have done a bit more work on this -- Newmark has sent more material for further X-ray study, and I am planning to make
some capillaries full of the material by the method you described. If these things orient properly, I'll send you off
some to work on.
Just after I had finished writing this business, I received a letter from Jim describing some work that Robley Williams in
Berkeley had done -- he shook TMV with some material, and apparently
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broke off the protein, leaving, of all things, a center pole [diagram]. This is apparently RNA, and has a diameter of 40 angstroms,
according to Jim. As you can see from the enclosed (note to Nature) our calculations yielded 39 angstroms, which agreement
is quite remarkable.
I'm still planning to visit England, but am somewhat uncertain about dates, since I've run into some work here that
needs straightening. Besides, Jack tells me England in the spring is superior to England in the winter. I'll keep you
We are quite keen here to get one of these Hilger instruments. I believe we are not charged import duty, so the cost would
be considerably less purchased directly. Also, I am told that the local servicing is terrible, so I'm not apt to be missing
I'm toying with the form of the RNA inside TMV -- and I think it may be possible to compare photographs with and without
RNA, and actually learn something about the molecule -- well, perhaps.