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Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNAA History of "The Most Beautiful Experiment in Biology"$
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Frederic Lawrence Holmes

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300085402

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300085402.001.0001

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Meselson and Stahl

Meselson and Stahl

(p.49) Chapter Two Meselson and Stahl
Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNA

Frederic Lawrence Holmes

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Matthew Meselson, and how he subsequently came to make the acquaintance of Frank Stahl. Meselson, a first-year graduate student in the Chemistry Division at Caltech in 1953, first came face to face with the two papers Crick and Watson had recently published in Nature through an appointment with Max Delbruck. Delbruck was known to be friendly but characteristically abrupt, and the first thing he asked Meselson when they met was what Meselson thought about the two papers. When Meselson confessed that he knew nothing about them, Delbruck tossed reprints of the papers at Meselson and remarked, “Go and read these papers, and don't come back until you have.” Meselson took these remarks not as a sign of rejection but as an invitation to return when he was prepared to talk, and thus began his journey to become an electrochemist who might find some way to create life.

Keywords:   electrochemist, Matthew Meselson, Frank Stahl, Chemistry Division, Caltech, Crick and Watson, Nature, Max Delbruck

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