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 she told Commoner
about her latest results on B8, and the note she had prepared to publish in Nature, asking for his comments as quickly as
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1955-03-09 (March 9, 1955)
Washington University. Henry Shaw School of Botany
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
Reproduced from the Franklin Collection at the Churchill Archives Centre with the permission of the copyright holder.
As you will see from the enclosed, I have now taken photographs of dry B8 and written a short note on the result. I am afraid
this may seem rather hasty, but the advantage of sending something to Nature immediately is that it would appear immediately
following the Rich, Dunitz, and Newmark note, of which I am sending you a copy. I shall, of course wait for your comments
before actually sending it to Nature, but I have warned the Editor that it is on the way. If you would care to add a bit
more information about B8 and its relationship to polymerised X, and make the thing a joint publication, I should be very
glad if you would send me what you would like to add, and either make or leave me to make the appropriate modifications in
what I have written.
I have not yet got prints of my photographs, but the results will look something like this
I have just received from Takahashi a sample of protein X. It is apparently unpolymerised, so I shall put it at pH 5 and see
what I can get from it. I am anxious to know how much of the difference between Rich's results and mine is due to method
and how much to the material.
Reading your papers and Takahashi's, there seems to be one point of difference between B8 and polymerised X on which you
make no comment. You state that B3 polymerises irreversibly to B8, whereas Takahashi states that the polymerisation of X
at pH 5 is reversed to pH 7.
I should be most grateful if you would let me have your comments on (and possible additions to) my note as quickly as possible.