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 discussed Don Caspar's recent work with TMV, and plans to visit London in the summer.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (111,578 Bytes)
1955-05-27 (May 27, 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.
Many thanks for your print. I recently received the proof, and returned it to the Editors. I think these contributions make
an interesting paper. Something amusing happened in that a few days ago I received a very formal letter from the Editors
of NATURE complaining about the fact that I had not sent my proof in, and asking whether I had received it. I answered no,
I had not received it, and a few days later it arrived with a three halfpenny stamp on it. They thought they were sending
it airmail and instead it took a tramp steamer across the ocean getting here. However, it should be out pretty soon I imagine.
Schramm's photographs certainly were sensational. How was your visit to his laboratory? Did he give you some stuff to
I recently met Don Caspar, formerly of Yale University, who is now at Cal. Tech. with Jim. He, as you perhaps know, has been
working on the radial distribution function of tobacco mosaic virus. In particular, he took geiger counter spectrometer measurements
off of oriented gels of TMV. He then introduced some lead ion into the structure and was able to find the lead ions, and
from their positions, was able to carry out a transform along the radius of the tobacco mosaic virus. Jim has probably written
to you about his results. They differ somewhat from yours in that they show a large empty space in the center of TMV, then
a high maximum near 25 angstroms, which presumably may be the phosphate groups in the RNA, and his transform goes out to 75
angstroms and then drops down to zero. He positions the two lead ions (two per 17,000 molecular weight protein) as residing
one near the RNA core and the other on the periphery of the tobacco mosaic rod. His data looked reasonably good. I hope
that he will send me a preliminary writeup of his material. He said he would, and if he does, I will send it on to you.
My present plans are to leave here sometime around the end of June, and arrive in London perhaps about the beginning of July.
I hope to stay about six weeks. What are your plans for the summer? Does my visiting at that time seriously inconvenience
When I have made my plans more definite, I will let you know.