Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. Daniel Nathans Collection
Reproduced with permission of Joanne Nathans.
From Phage MS2 to Tumor Virus SV40, 1962-1970
March 11, 1969
I am sorry that I didn't write to you sooner. I had intended to call you before leaving for Israel but somehow with the
rush of last minute things to do I didn't call. I hope that your laboratory is now set up and you are actively working
and I hope the family is well settled and feeling at home by now.
First of all, as for the status of your research work here, I did analyze the data that you left last fall and I have the
graphs and tracings which came out of that. What has held up the final organization of this material is the analysis of Kathy's
work on the proteins from each of the gel peaks. She was unable to do the electrophoresis of the tryptic peptides before she
left in September, and I worked up that material and finally got the electropherograms on X-ray film before I left for Israel
so that is now sitting and Herb will develop those films in my absence. My intention is once those results are in to get all
the material together on the identification of the protein peaks on the time course synthesis and pulse-label experiments
and, of course, the work with amber mutant RNase, to send it to you with perhaps an outline of a paper which we could publish.
I hope this can be done shortly after I get back in the summer. In the meantime, it is my intention to present some of this
material at the Cold Spring Harbor Symposium in June which is on protein synthesis, and to submit a paper which would include
part of that material for publication in the symposium volume, which doesn't usually come out until after almost a year
after the symposium. In any case, as soon as I get some information on the peptide analyses, I will let you know the results.
We all are enjoying our stay in Israel very much. The Weizmann Institute is an unusual place, particularly unusual for a state
like Israel, but unusual even, I think, by the criteria we have in the United States. The science studied here covers physics,
mathematics, chemistry, and biology; and the physical plant which houses the laboratories and administrative buildings is
really very beautiful. The laboratory facilities are excellent and the caliber of the science is very high. I myself am doing
some things in the laboratory with cells in culture and tumor viruses, polyoma and SV40, but actually I don't expect to
get a great deal done in this short period. A good bit of my time is spent in the library and trying to digest the literature
and to think of ways in which I might be able to do something worthwhile in the field. The country here really is unusually
beautiful. It has a highly varied geography in a relatively small space and of course is steeped in history. Everywhere you
go you see excavations going back thousands of years and in many instances tells which are awaiting the excavator's spade.
The weather in the last several weeks has been glorious, warm, sometimes even hot, and since the end of January or so there
hasn't been a drop of rain. The children are having a wonderful time. Of course, they don't yet understand Hebrew
so they miss a fair amount of class but, as you might suspect, this really doesn't disturb them. School hours are from
8 to 1 six days a week, so this gives the children a great deal of time to themselves every afternoon. Joanne, who has been
in Israel previously, is in seventh heaven. She speaks Hebrew rather well, has no difficulty getting along here and loves
every minute of it. Naturally, the country has a great attraction for us in a spiritual sense and we are aware of our close
attachment to it and the people all the time.
I'd like very much to hear from you and to learn what you are doing. With warmest regards,