Oliver Smithies:

This is physical book Roman XVIII, XV one one one, August 1958 through December.  It begins straightforwardly with a few gels from various gel — various starches that are being checked out.  Then Wednesday August 27th, 28th is a duplicate gel to check on the equivalence of all the — what I call the TGF — the transferrin-b allele.  All should be [BC2-1?] and that [00:01:00] there was no significant differences.  [Therefore?] repeated in a different order.  There’s one person, a Pygmy aborigine, that is obviously — has only one transferrin from the look of it.  Next — the next page is repeated.  Same order with Dave Poulik MDP Tris-borate system.  So just confirming the transferrin types.  And nothing very striking.  Continuing in as the book progresses.  Rather nice gel on Thursday Friday [00:02:00] September 4th, 5th.  Various sera from [Bluffin?], Indiana for possible odd bands associated with amyloidosis or possible high haptoglobins.  They’re quite nice multiple bands in the 2b, Hp2-2 homozygotes in this.  But there are some other bands that are varying that I never really worked out.  Trying to insert samples into the gel through a hole on the side Tuesday, Wednesday September 10th.  [00:03:00] Well, said it worked well, but I doubt if it was ever used much.  Just more complicated than the benefits.  More starch tests.  More general tests.  Twins and somebody with ceruloplasmin added.  A sample on Friday, Saturday October 4th and 5th.  And no particular comment on what was found.

Tried on October 21st, tried that new insert mechanism [00:04:00] with difficulty.  With written — it looks as if I was dictating these things to Otto.  Quite strange the writing.  Now some sera from Eloise Giblett, Elo Giblett, which she thought were of the modified 2-1 type.  I got many samples from Elo.  It was a very happy collaboration lasting many years.  She’s a couple years older than me and died a short while ago sadly.  But she had a good long life.  The results with hemoglobin look like 2-2 is the comment on the October 21st gel.  [00:05:00] And the one haptoglobin — one transferrin heterozygote.

Two gels October 22nd nothing particularly remarkable.  They’re good gels and it’s nice to have the images printed out.  Repeating them October 23rd, nearly always repeating things.  October 3rd and I’m still trying these different ways of inserting things into the gel with rubber bands and metal space filler, [00:06:00] self-sealing rubber seal.  No leakages [it’s just set up?] excellent slot [cut collapse?] etc., etc.  Always trying to improve.  A test on October 27th of interchange of hemoglobin and haptoglobin with benzidine result as well.  Trying to see whether haptoglobin could — whether hemoglobin could move from one haptoglobin to another haptoglobin.  And my comment is that there is no interchange visible.  Continuing on the following day.

[00:07:00] Still playing with wires to make an insertion October 30th.  Set up a vertical auto slot gel.  With much larger and bigger wire.  With much bigger wire.  Next page it says looks very good, no side sample creep.  It’s essential to use a three-centimeter gel, etc., etc. Never went anywhere.  [00:08:00] Tuesday November 4th, began — is interesting.  Because this is the beginning of — well, maybe not the beginning, but a good record of what I was getting from Les Pinteric’s scans of filter paper resolution trace.  It actually looks more like a gel.  But here’s what it says.  On Monday with noncirculating water-cooled gel.  So I think it’s a gel really.  Thirteen percent Danish, etc., etc.  Very satisfactory result.  Tuesday not quite so pleased.  Not so good as Monday.  [00:09:00] But the resolution trace shows the beginning of recording things on a cathode ray oscilloscope which Les had worked out.

Continuing to try an auto insert in November.  Regular gel on Tuesday November 7th.  Looking for different transferrin types.  Or not looking, perhaps confirming.  Continuing on the following page, more samples again.  [00:10:00] November, Tuesday, Wednesday November 12th.  Continuing.  Type 1 and type 2 being checked out.  New apparatus.  Wednesday November 12th.  Trying these magical methods of insertion.  Very satisfactory.  But [lensing?] caused trouble.  More big gels.  Wednesday, Thursday November 13th.  Trying different wires on November 8th.  Very common comment [00:11:00] happening on Tuesday November 13th.  The following page.  Result very promising.  It seems to me I would often use that term very promising.  Friday November 14th checking more starch.  I still haven’t quite resolved the script, I mean who is writing, because on Friday November 14th I recognize that is my normal writing.  And yet on [00:12:00] Wednesday, Thursday November 13th the writing is not my writing.  Many pages here are not my writing.  It’s as if I was dictating.  But I haven’t resolved this in my mind at this point.

Continuing to try different ways of inserting sample.  November 17th.  [00:13:00] November 20th.  Must have been a water-cooled gel Thursday 3:30 p.m., 470 volts noncirculating.  With various wires again.  Friday November 20th, very good resolution but no or very little lipoprotein.  For Wednesday November 26th this is a significant day because this was a day of testing with radioactive iron and Fe-59 tests on the human transferrins.  And how much [00:14:00] Fe-59 was added, etc., etc.  Total serum to be used and various comments.  And there’s a very pretty gel image on the left-hand page of Wednesday November 26th where there are two samples from Otto and then a sample from [Charlie Lewis?] who was homozygous for one of the slower transferrins and then heterozygous, [Hubert Lewis?], and [Archie Campbell?], still the more usual transferrin.  And then [Helen Maguire?], who was heterozygous for the faster transferrin.  So there were several of these.  And I imagine the autoradiograph will turn up a few pages later.  [00:15:00] I know that we got a good autoradiograph that was later published with Elo.  Was a very pretty gel.

Wednesday November 26th some more checks of wires, etc.  Problems.  Monday December 1st in large letters air leak.  [00:16:00] Monday, Tuesday December 2nd.  Rather poor-looking gel photograph on the left-hand page and loose-leaf loose photograph on the right.  The right one is just looks to be all the same sample basically.  All haptoglobin 2-2.  And the left-hand side was a gel which had been frozen.  And it said the point is half of the gel was [for the radio autograph?] frozen quickly and has its own CO2 and put in the deep freeze.  [00:17:00] Exposure 10 days’ time to establish whether better results are obtained with a frozen gel than with one that’s allowed to [defume?].

Here’s a high voltage one, Wednesday December 3rd one, the water-cooled one, 800 volts, 25 volts per centimeter, tap water-cooled.  But there was a big air bubble and trouble.  [00:18:00] Thursday December 4th a large number of — a gel checking out in the diabetic families.  And 2a, 2b, 1.  The top half was stained with [dianisidine diamino?] I’m not sure what that compound is.  It was a benzidine type compound I think for hemoglobin.  [00:19:00] Monday December 8th, 9th quite a pretty gel with a lot of different samples.  Note from Harry Harris who was in London and was a great friend and marvelous geneticist.  His comment is “Dear Oliver, herewith are two samples of plasma, [beta B1C?] and haptoglobin 2-2 from one family showing atypical segregation.  This plasma was from an individual 2b in our letter to Nature, etc.  Hope that they arrive safely.  Best wishes, Harry Harris.”  And running these samples to see what they were.  [00:20:00] And the [B1C?] sample from [Lena Gibbs?] was a true [B1C?] and was not — the true [B1C?] was compared with [Lena Gibbs?] and there was no difference.  [Lena Gibbs?] is [B1C?].  And stained with benzidine.  That’s a better stain for hemoglobin that we used and hemoglobin-haptoglobin that we used very extensively later on.  A quite nice gel.  Satisfactory result.  Check on Harry Harris’s [B1C?].  Half a gel for benzidine, half a gel with amino black.  [00:21:00] And comment [fit in?] it was no good at first but came OK eventually.  Whether this was with rabbit sera not particularly important.  Evidently the benzidine test was still having some problems.  Thursday, Friday December 12th.  Back to gel, wires, etc. December 11th.

Some comments on December 16th, 17th.  [On fat?] stains and [00:22:00] oil blue N plus oil red O looked pretty good.  Though the comment is that all are rather disappointing.  The only real hope, and I had that from previously, is oil red O plus oil blue N.  With a subcomment that [azo oil 50 50 10?] is better.  So the lipid staining was worthwhile.  December 18th in big letters try OBN and [azo OBB?].  All these different dyes that I used to get and try.  [00:23:00] A comment December 19th [azo OBB?] has the lowest background.  OBN is the next lowest background and stains higher.  Oil red O plus OBN stains the best and has the same background as oil red O.  And that ends the book.