Meselson-Stahl experiment, 1958

Meselson-Stahl experiment, 1958

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Credit: RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Meselson-Stahl experiment, 1958. Illustration of US geneticists Matthew Meselson (born 1930) and Franklin Stahl (born 1929) conducting their famous 1958 experiment on the mechanism of the replication of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). This experiment, carried out at the California Institute of Technology, California, USA, proved the semi-conservative hypothesis advanced by Crick and Watson. This hypothesis stated that when DNA is replicated, one of the strands is from the old molecule and one is a new strand. Meselson and Stahl demonstrated this by labelling the DNA with isotopes of nitrogen. Different DNA replication possibilities are shown across bottom, with red and blue used to distinguish new and old DNA, with analytical results projected onto the wall.

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