The most beautiful experiments

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In Physicsweb are reported the ten most elegant experiments in Physics (http://physicsweb.org/articles/world/15/9/2).

In Biology, the Meselson-Stahl is currently seen as one of the most elegant experiments.

What biological experiment do you consider as the most beautiful? Why?
 
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iansmith
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I think the Avery, MacLeod, McCarthy (1944) is most elegant. Simple and anybody should read the paper.

Hershey and Chase (1950) would be my second choice.
 
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I'm a fan of Hammerling's Acetabularia experiments. They're just so cool!
 
Sho'Nuff
Spehmann / Mangold organizer
SCNT Briggs and Kings
ffs, the period genes and the molecular clock.....brilliant
oocytes derived from bone marrow (just came out in Cell)

cant choose theres many
 
Ouabache
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iansmith said:
I think the Avery, MacLeod, McCarthy (1944) is most elegant. Simple and anybody should read the paper.

Hershey and Chase (1950) would be my second choice.
Here's a http://dwb.unl.edu/Teacher/NSF/C10/C10Links/www.asmusa.org/mbrsrc/archive/SIGNIFICANT.htm [Broken] to learn more about the Avery et al. experiment. (also see quote below)

Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty show that DNA is the transforming material in cells. They use the observations of Griffith and show the transformation of Streptococcus pneumoniae from an avirulent phenotype to a virulent phenotype is the result of the transfer of DNA from dead smooth organisms to live rough ones. They also show that the transforming principle is destroyed by pancreatic deoxyribonuclease, which hydrolyzes DNA, but is not affected by pancreatic ribonuclease or proteolytic enzymes. Macleod was Avery’s research assistant until 1941. By the time he left, he and Avery suspected that the vital substance in bacterial transformation was DNA. McCarty confirmed their hypothesis.

Oswald T. Avery Collection

Avery, O. T., C. M. Macleod, and M. McCarty. 1944. Studies on the chemical nature of the substance inducing transformation of pneumonococcal types. Induction of transformation by a deoxyribo-nucleic acid fraction isolated from pnuemococcus type III. J. Exp. Med. 79: 137-157. In Microbiology: A Centenary Perspective, edited by Wolfgang K. Joklik, ASM Press. 1999, p.116
The Hershey and Chase http://www.mun.ca/biology/scarr/4241B_Hershey_&_Chase.htm [Broken] was published in 1952. The complete paper is available as pdf at the referenced site. (select blue hypertext on "blender experiment" for ref. site)
 
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iansmith
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Hershey and Chase were lucky in a way. Imagine that they were working with an RNA viruse rather than a DNA viruse?
 
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iansmith said:
Hershey and Chase were lucky in a way. Imagine that they were working with an RNA viruse rather than a DNA viruse?
Obviously, the initial image of the genome replication would be very different.

Does luck tarnish elegance in an experiment?
 
iansmith
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ryokan said:
Obviously, the initial image of the genome replication would be very different.

Does luck tarnish elegance in an experiment?
I don't think so. If the experiment is well done and demonstrate the point, then it is a elegant experiment.

However, it is always fun the reflect on things that are discover due to mistakes.

As Louis Pasteur said "“Chance favours the prepared mind”.
 

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