How's the Genius? (That is Leewi's description; I heard it with my own ears this summer at Woods Hole.)
Bonner just let me see a copy of your manuscript, and reading it was just like being at Cold Spring Harbour, hearing one line
of evidence after another until one is almost compelled to say: Stop, I'll believe anything you say. It is quite thrilling.
There is only one point which is not quite clear to me, and that is the detail of the postulated mechanism of substrate-enzyme
interactions, particularly between different systems. What, do you propose is the mechanism by which the formation of a second
enzyme depletes the first; why should the presence of exogenous N affect this process if the substrates are simply competing
on unstable enzyme molecules? Why are the enzymes less unstable in the presence of azide? All of these questions are based
on this conception of the role of substrate: that the precursor suffers random reversible changes, o ccasionally producing
enzymatically specific molecules, and that these are stabilized by the presence of the substrate. However, it is difficult
for me to see the role of a second 'competing substrate' in effecting changes in the rate of the reaction of decomposition
from E to Pr. Perhaps this is too simplified the conception; I would appreciate it if you could clarify it for me.
You may be interested that a preliminary note on our bacterial work has appeared in Nature for Oct. 19. I'm climbing
on your bandwagon, in a way; in hopes of finding non Mendelian mechanisms to account for certain discrepancies in the ratios
of the various new types that appear in our mixed cultures, we are going to look at the inheritance of a lactose fermentation
character; E. coli (a triple mutant Y-10) was heavily irradiated, and after preliminary cultivation, was spread out on EMB-lactose
plates. 1/20,000 colonies was a non-fermenter, and we are going to study the segregation of this character into prototrophs
when Y-10-L- and another biochemical mutant which is Lplus are crossed, in the presence and absence of lactose. Any suggestions?
Well, best of luck, in regards to everybody there,