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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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Twists and Turns

Twists and Turns

(p.75) Chapter Three Twists and Turns
Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNA

Frederic Lawrence Holmes

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the responses proposed by others to the challenge posed by Max Delbruck's provocative paper on the DNA replication problem. This occurred while Meselson and Stahl attended to more immediate tasks. At the time, responses appeared on two widely divergent levels. On an abstract plane that appealed particularly to physicists, there appeared topographical models suggesting alternatives to Delbruck's scheme for resolving the unwinding dilemma. On an experimental plane, some of the members of the phage network sought to trace the patterns of distribution of parental DNA molecules into progeny DNA. Somewhere between these levels, Jim Watson himself took Delbruck's objections seriously enough to think about alternative structures for DNA that might obviate the unwinding problem altogether.

Keywords:   DNA replication problem, physicists, topographical models, experimental, phage network, parental DNA molecules, progeny DNA, Jim Watson

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