C. Arthur Knight was one of many virus researchers that Franklin visited during her 1954 trip to the United States. A colleague
of Wendell Stanley, Robley Williams, and Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat, he sent her samples of cucumber virus and iodinated TMV. In
this letter she reported that she had had trouble getting the samples to orient well enough to do x-ray diffraction with them.
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1954-12-17 (December 17, 1954)
Knight, C. A.
University of California, Berkeley
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 so much for your letter answering my long series of questions, and for the two virus specimens.
I have started to work with both materials, but have not yet succeeded in obtaining good enough orientation. They were almost
dry on arrival, and I had some difficulty in re-wetting them. When I added a few drops of freshly boiled distilled water
to the CV4 a white precipitate formed. However, there remains plenty of material free from this precipitate. Its mechanical
properties seem rather different from those of TMV. It tends to stay as a gel at a greater dilution, which makes it more
difficult to orientate. I think the I-TMV is going to be somewhat easier. Do you know how much iodine it contains?
I enclose a copy of a short paper which I am sending to "Nature". (If it is rejected as being too long for "Nature"
I shall send it elsewhere). I should be grateful if you would be kind enough to show it to Professor Stanley and to Dr. Fraenkel-Conrat.
I will write again in a few weeks time to tell you whether I am having any success with your materials.