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The Francis Crick Papers

Letter from Francis Crick to Arthur Kornberg pdf (109,590 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Francis Crick to Arthur Kornberg
Crick here discussed continued efforts to decipher the genetic code, in particular the use of base-equivalents such as bromouracil (chemically very similar to the base uracil in RNA) to induce mutations, specifically the substitution of one base by another. The second laboratory method mentioned was the synthesis of strands of RNA of known, simple, repetitive sequence (Crick here referred to poly AU) as a means of finding out which triplets of bases code for which amino acids (a sequence of AUAUAUAUA etc. codes for the polypeptide isoleucine-tyrosine-isoleucine-tyrosine etc).
Number of Image Pages:
1 (109,590 Bytes)
1962-02-09 (February 9, 1962)
Crick, Francis
Kornberg, Arthur
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
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Reproduced with permission of the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Genetic Code
Exhibit Categories:
Deciphering the Genetic Code, 1958-1966
"Creating Life in the Test Tube," 1959-1970
Box Number: 9
Folder Number: PP/CRI/D/1/1/11
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence
SubSeries: Alphabetical Correspondence
SubSubSeries: Correspondence 1
Folder: Correspondence K
9th February, 1962.
Dear Arthur,
Many thanks for your very interesting paper on bromouracil substitution. I am delighted to see that you have refuted Chargaff's nonsense. The results on the incorporation of G's in pairs is very puzzling. One gets the impression that G goes in more easily at the beginning of the incubation than at the end. I wonder if a brief attack by the Lehman enzyme on the primer would reduce this. I hope to have some better ideas before I get to California.
Would you thank Baldwin for his three papers. The reference to me is quite in order. I found them hard work to read because they are so stuffed with results, but really very convincing.
Alex Shedlovsky has prepared the RNA polymerase to use with your poly AT, but we do not yet have the poly AU to test in the Nirenberg system. We are now afraid it may not work because it may be two-stranded. I expect Paul Berg has already tried this in any case.
I leave for the States on Monday. Looking forward to seeing you in April.
Yours sincerely,
F. H. C. Crick
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