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Rotational Friction Coefficients of Models of Tobacco Mosaic Virus and the Size of the Virus Particle


MUCH valuable information about the shape of macromolecules in solution can be derived from hydrodynamic studies. Two recent measurements of the rotational friction coefficient of tobacco mosaic virus, by the electro-optical effect1 and by flowbirefringence2, have, however, led to values of the length that were more than 10 per cent greater than the length observed in the electron microscope3. This serious discrepancy, which is well outside the presumed experimental errors, could be explained by changes in the dimensions of the virus particle on drying, or by failure of the available hydrodynamic formulæ adequately to describe the actual behaviour of the rod-shaped particle.

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HALTNER, A., ZIMM, B. Rotational Friction Coefficients of Models of Tobacco Mosaic Virus and the Size of the Virus Particle. Nature 184, 265–266 (1959).

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