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Letter from Werner Braun to Joshua Lederberg

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RUTGERS l THE STATE UNIVERSITY INSTITUTB OF MICROBIOLOGY March 1, 1960 NEW BRUNSWICK, NBW JERSEY Dr. Joshua Lederberg Department of Genetics School of Medicine Stanford University Palo Alto, California Dear Josh: At long last I am getting around to sending you, under separate cover, the antisera that we prepared against DNA-rich preparations from E. coli. We prepared these antisera in accordance with the suggestion you made when I saw you last June. I am not entirely certain whether these antisera will prove useful for your plans since we have now recognized that the formation of antibodies capable of reacting with DNAase-sensitive antigens occurs only in a few immunized rabbits. Thus, the antisera which we prepared for you in two rabbits do not display precipitin reactions that are markedly altered after treatment of the reacting antigen with DNAase. There is a slight change, but this change is similar to the one occurring after 48 hours of incubation at 37’ in the absence of DNAase. So far we do not know whether this tempera- ture sensitivity is or is not associated with the DNA present in our prepara- tions. The sera we are sending you, therefore, may or may not be useful in your studies on DNA migration in E. coli, but they may be worth trying. We are sending you approximately 20 ml. from each of two post-immunization bleedings. Within the next few months we might be able to attempt immunizing a few additional rabbits with DNA-rich preparations from E. coli in the hope that we might find among them an occassional animal giving us the same high titers against DNAase-sensitive components of our antigens as we have obtained from a few rare animals immunized with preparations from Brucella abortus. Whenever we get these antibodies they behave beautifully; recently Plescia, who is working with us on these problems, has demonstrated that these snti- bodies can also be detected, with great sensitivity, by complement fixation reations. You will f

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