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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to John Patrick Swann

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  • Biology


STANFORD UNIVERSITY STANFORD. CALIFORNIA 94305-2493 DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES December 18, 1985 Dr. Joshua Lederberg President's Office The Rockefeller University 1230 York Avenue New York NY 10021 Dear Josh: Good to hear from you. The Tatum memoir is thoughtful and sensitive. I'm afraid not much can be said about l&~ (299), or about m mutants in general. N. sitonhila has been little used, and linkage groups are not defined. I'm not aware of any evidence for or against allelism of 299 with the single known PdX locus in j$. crassa, but the best bet would be that it is at the same locus. All the known N. crassa l&c mutants have proved to be alleles at the same locus, pdx-1, in linkage group IV. It would be perfectly feasible to introgress 299 into crassa and do allelism tests and mapping there, but no one has been motivated to do so. There is also no evidence to my knowledge of a m-specified enzyme or gene product, either in Neurospora or Saccharomyces or Aspergillus. Only a single m locus is known in yeast, two in Aspergillus. In neither organism is the lesion identified. Let me write down a few comments and thoughts regarding ELT, not necessarily because they will be of any use for your memoir, but because it has sparked my memory. Ed was extremely kind and helpful to me as I got started at Stanford. I felt almost as though I were part of his group, and had good opportunity to observe his relations with his students and associates. He was infinitely patient and kind, even with the weaker students, whom he kept on with a sort of personal sympathy and loyalty, trying to bring out their best. I think he valued integrity above all. He was absolutely honest and showed great care to spend grant funds carefully and thriftily. He went to great length to avoid using his position to obtain favors. For example, none of his students were allowed to apply for N.I.H. Fellowships while he was on the panel handling them, according to D

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