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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Bernard D. Davis

Publication Date
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


DEPARTMENT OF BACTERIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL 2s SHATTUCK STREET BOSTON 15. MASSACHUSETTS December 1, 1?58 Dr. Joshua Lederberg University of W isconsin College of &dicine _ Department of Medical %netics - Genetics Building Madison, W isconsin Dear Joshua: I need hardly tell you how successful your lecture was and how much we enJoyed having you here. W h ile I still don't favor the cell- I selection hypothesis for antibody formation, you certainly presented a most provocative synthesis of facts and interpretation - and I am using the word llprovocativell in a most favorable sense. The New England Journal of Medicine care to publish the lecture there, wonders whether you would of medical interest. s ince it included a good deal of material They have a much broader circulation than you m ight L expect for a journal with a provincial title. I imagine you would prefer to find a less medical outlet, but I told them I would ask you in any case. I forgot to metion that I had hoped to have an astronomer at our home when you were there to si?,ir up a discussion of your recent interest in a field that is beginning to dominate the toy market. Donald Fienzel and fiedL&ple were out of town. Unfortunately both To get down to more serious business: I have a graduate student, Loretta Lainbert, who is investigating someaspects of DAF deprival and trying to find why DAP-less spheroplasts are much tougher than penicill ir-induced ones. It turns out that if one slows growth sufficientl;- (e.g. with a sulfona- m ide) mutant 173-25' makes normal cell wall, and the first chemical analyses 3 indicate that it is making DAP. this is The simplest interpretation would be that a leaky mutant; but an independently isolated DAF atiroph behaved identically. If you have kept the DAF aux%rophs that you isolated a while ago I would appreciate slants of them to see whether this is a general problem. I presume

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