In this letter, Khorana mentioned ongoing work in his laboratory, which was concerned with the synthesis in vitro of a gene
for transfer RNA in yeast from its component nucleotides, the first such synthesis of an artificial gene. Khorana was about
to receive the Nobel prize for this work, and in the final paragraph acknowledged a letter of congratulation from Crick, Sydney
Brenner, and Frederick Sanger.
The two lectures to which Khorana referred in his letter were, respectively, Crick's Rickman Godlee Lecture, entitled
"The Social Impact of Biology" and delivered at University College London on October 24, 1968, and Crick's address
on "Molecular Biology and Medical Research," delivered at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City on October
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1968-11-08 (November 8, 1968)
Khorana, H. Gobind
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
Reading the review of your recent lecture in Nature has again stimulated me to writing this -- I have been meaning to write
for quite sometime [sic]. In fact, I just missed your lecture in New York (20th of Oct).
I wonder if you would like to visit Madison during the coming year. (Of course, I hope to see you, even if briefly, in Lajolla
[sic] and would like to know the dates of your visit there) The synthetic work (chemical and enzymatic) is progressing well
and there is a distinct possibility that ala-tRNA gene will be done by Feb. 69 or at the latest by April 69. We are also about
1/3rd of the way with tyr-suppressor tRNA gene. My work with polymerase, initiation etc may develop or may show interesting
direction during the coming year. So if you would still be interested in hearing in detail and a visit with the group, we
would all of course enjoy a visit. I could arrange expenses etc and 500 dollars if you wanted to consider coming for spending
some days. If Leslie could also come, then we would look forward to repeating the happy experiences of Dec. 65.
Thanks for the message together with Max, Sydney and Fred. Certainly the memory of my visit to Lajolla [sic] in Feb 65 with
(UC)n result and the inspiration and direction I got from you in the succeeding two years will always shine brighter than
All the best of regards and good wishes in the meantime
Fondly, Gobind (Inst. for Enzyme Research Univ. Ave. Madison)