MadSci Network: Science History

Re: How was the proposed model of Conservative DNA replication supposed to work

Date: Tue Jul 4 14:48:01 2000
Posted By: Sarah Tegen, Grad student, Molecular and Cell Biology, UC-Berkeley
Area of science: Science History
ID: 960717526.Sh

There were three models for how DNA could replicate:  A conservative model 
where the parental double helix remained intact and a completely new 
daughter double strand was formed, the semi-conservative which you 
mentioned, and dispersive in which there is some random combination of 
parental and daughter strands.  These were just three theories proposed, and 
no model of conservative replication was postulated.  It was the experiments 
of Messelson and Stahl that proved DNA replication was semi-conservative 
or It 
wasn't until Watson and Crick determined the structure of DNA that the 
mechanism of unzipping the DNA and copying each strand was realized 

I hope this answers your question.

Good luck,
Sarah Tegen

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