Following her visit to the United States in 1954, Franklin collaborated with Barry Commoner (at Washington University in St.
Louis), on a study of a protein he called B8, which was similar to the protein found in some viruses. She compared this with
material obtained from Alexander Rich (then at the National Institutes of Health) and was so bothered by the discrepancies
that she sent Rich a telegram asking him to verify his data. His response was important to the final version of the Franklin-Commoner
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1955-03-25 (March 25, 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.
Thank you very much for amending and returning my manuscript so promptly. I am now sending you what is, I hope, the final
version. I am posting it to "Nature" today.
As you will see, I have done a lot of re-writing. I accepted your invitation to condense what you wrote, and I hope I have
not damaged it too much in the process. At the same time, I was reluctant to believe that there was a major structural difference
between the B8 and Rich's material, such as would account for the different optical properties. So I sent a telegram
to Rich, and got an answer saying that he finds he made a mistake about the sign. The new version therefore puts less emphasis
on the difference between my results and his, and his statement that his dry material was positive will be deleted.
Thank you for the new supply of B8, which has arrived safely. I have put some in the camera today, and will let you know
if I get anything new. However, under the microscope it looks rather like what I got by evaporating the solution. The birefringence
is very low, and the gel is not homogeneous. So it looks as though it really is less readily orientated than TMV. If the
result is no different from before, I will post the remainder of this new specimen back to you.
In my last letter I said that I had an orientated specimen of Takahashi's polymerised X. I regret to say that what I
had was orientated buffer salt! Later I evaporated to dryness some of his dialyzed solution, and was left with only a very
small stain -- his solution was too dilute to give me anything I could work with.