Meselson-Stahl Experiment

One human's entire DNA sequence would take up three gigabytes of storage space. Pupils explore the experiment performed by Meselson-Stahl, which proved DNA copied itself through a semi-conservative process. The instructor explains their observations of E.coli over several generations as they grew on heavy nitrogen. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Set up stations related to genetics and place at the video at one of them
Classroom Considerations

  • Must have a computer, Internet access, and a way to project the video
  • Show before the ninth video in the series, as it briefly discusses this experiment and then moves into DNA replication
  • Video 21 in a series of 30

  • A short video to support DNA replication can be easily worked into a lesson
  • Visuals help scholars understand how the experiment proved a semi-conservative replication of DNA

  • None
Common Core