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[Notes on the biological interpretation of Fred Griffith's finding]

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Publication Date
  • Transformation
  • Genetic
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


These spectacular discoveries in biochemistry ran far ahead of the genetic study of the pneumococcus transformation, which relied on the capsule as a sole genetic marker. Until this study was broadened about 1951 with experiments on drug resistance and other markers (8, 9), a variety of opinions were forwarded (mostly on a purely speculative level) on the biological interpretation of Griffith's finding. They included the following versions of the transforming substance:

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