Letter from H. Fraenkel-Conrat to Rosalind Franklin
Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat was one of many virus researchers that Franklin visited during her 1954 trip to the United States. Like
many others, he was able to send her samples of the materials he was using. The TMV with heavy atoms, such as mercury, added
would help Franklin calculate the structure of TMV more accurately. In this letter he responded to some of the x-ray diffraction
findings she had sent him.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (48,974 Bytes)
1956-03-14 (March 14, 1956)
University of California, Berkeley
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
I have a bad conscience in not having answered your letter of January 7; this was in part due to my difficulty in digesting
all the conflicting data. I had previously attributed the deficit in -SH groups (as indicated by several methods, one of
which is Hg analysis) to autoxidative loss of the thiol, rather than as evidence for a subunit size appreciably different
from 18,000. I still prefer this interpretation, really, because chemically all others are difficult to visualize and require
bonds which have not yet been shown to exist in proteins.
Maybe in a year or two the various analyses and interpretations will again be in phase. Many thanks for sending the two M.S.
I am preparing some more Hg-protein aggregate for you. Its behavior is rather complex, with a tendency to aggregate to an
insoluble state at the slightest provocation. I do not yet know in what state it might be best to send it to you.