Francis Crick Archive of 2 Signed Letters about Genes in Macronuclear DNA of the Ciliate Stylonychia
Item Number: 14459
Co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule. Archive of 2 Typed Letters Signed "Francis". Both letters to Dr. Hans Joachim Lipps, a German molecular biologist. The first letter, dated February 15, 1978 on Salk Institue letterhead, comments on Lipps' study, "The result on the histone genes in Stylonychia is indeed surprising. though on reflection one can't see any good reason against it." The second letter, dated August 14, 1978, on MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology letterhead, congratulates Lipps on new funding, and further discusses the study of coding sequences in Stylonychia,
"I look forward to reading about your new results which certainly sound interesting. I wonder whether the coding sequences in Sylonychia have intervening sequences in them."
The recipient of these latters, Dr. Lipps, published a paper called "Histone Genes in Macronuclear DNA of the Ciliate Stylonychia Mytilus" in 1978 which examined the DNA structure of the Stylonychia concluding that "in general, no two histone gene probes hybridized to the same macronuclear DNA fragment. This result indicates that genes coding for the five histones in Stylonychia are not located together on the same macronuclear DNA fragments and implies that the five functionally related genes would not be transcribed together as a polycistronic unit." [Chromosoma 6. XII. 1978, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 291-306] This letter is possbily a discussion of this study. Stylonychia is a genus of ciliate, included among the stichotrichs. It is very common in fresh water and soil, found on filamentous algae, surface films, and among particles of sediment. Histones are highly alkaline proteins found in eukaryotic cell nuclei that package and order the DNA into structural units called nucleosomes.
Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material." In 1978 he held the post of J.W. Kieckhefer Distinguished Research Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. His later research centered on theoretical neurobiology and attempts to advance the scientific study of human consciousness. Letters have been 3-hole punched, but are in excellent condition with clear signatures.