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Historical theories of DNA replication

Partly due to the Meselson-Stahl experiment in 1958, semi-conservative replication is now considered to be the best description of DNA replication.

At the time, there were two alternative models of DNA replication:

Under conservative replication, the original DNA is conserved (left intact) and the daughter strand is an entirely new copy of the parent DNA.

Under dispersive replication, double-stranded sections of parent DNA are divided among the daughter molecules.

The Meselson-Stahl experiment suggests that DNA replication is semi-conservative rather than conservative or dispersive.
The Meselson-Stahl experiment suggests that DNA replication is semi-conservative rather than conservative or dispersive.