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Question

How did the Meselson-Stahl experiment confirm that DNA replication is semi-conservative?


Solution

Meselson and Stahl cultured the E. Coli bacteria in a culture medium which contain radioactive nitrogen which was isotopes of normal nitrogen. After the bacteria replicated for a few generations in the medium both the strands of their DNA contain radioactive nitrogen as a constituent of purines and pyrimidines.
And when these bacteria with radioactive nitrogen were transported in a culture medium containing the normal nitrogen, it was found that the DNA separated from the fresh generation of bacteria contains one strand heavier than the other. The heavier strand represents the parents stand and the lighter is the new one synthesized from the culture indicating the semiconservative mode of DNA replication. This proved semiconservative mode of DNA replication.


Biology

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