Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Explorations in the land of DNA and beyond

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Matthew Meselson and Frank Stahl in 1996, standing at the place they met in 1954 at Woods Hole.
Figure 2: François Jacob, Max Delbrück, Matthew Meselson, Ronald Rolfe (partly hidden from view), Gunther Stent and Sydney Brenner in Pasadena, June 1960.


  1. Schrödinger, E. What Is Life? (Macmillan, New York, 1945).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Holmes, L.F. Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNA (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2001).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  3. Meselson, M., Stahl, F. & Vinograd, J. Equilibrium sedimentation of macromolecules in density gradients. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 43, 581–588 (1957).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Meselson, M. & Stahl, F. The replication of DNA in E. coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 44, 671–682 (1958).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Meselson, M. & Weigle, J. Chromosome breakage accompanying genetic recombination in bacteriophage. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 47, 857–868 (1961).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Davern, C.I. & Meselson, M. The molecular conservation of RNA during bacterial growth. J. Mol. Biol. 2, 153–160 (1960).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Brenner, S., Jacob, F. & Meselson, M. An unstable intermediate carrying information from genes to ribosomes for protein synthesis. Nature 190, 576–581 (1961).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Meselson, M. The molecular basis of genetic recombination in Heritage from Mendel (ed. Brink, R.A.) 81–104 (University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1967).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Wagner, R. & Meselson, M. Repair tracts in mismatch DNA heteroduplexes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 73, 4135–4139 (1976).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Meselson, M. Methyl-directed repair of DNA mismatches in The Recombination of Genetic Material (ed. Low, K.B.) 91–113 (Academic Press, San Diego, 1988).

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  11. Meselson, M. & Yuan, R. DNA restriction enzyme from E. coli. Nature, 217, 1110–1114 (1968).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Meselson, M., Yuan, R. & Heywood, J. Restriction and modification of DNA. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 41, 447–466 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Mark Welch, D.B. & Meselson, M. Evidence for the evolution of Bdelloid rotifers without sexual reproduction or genetic exchange. Science 288, 1211–1215 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Mark Welch, J.L., Mark Welch, D.B. & Meselson, M. Cytogenetic evidence for asexual evolution of Bdelloid rotifers. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 1618–1621 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Arkhipova, I. & Meselson, M. Transposable elements in sexual and ancient asexual taxa. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 14473–14477 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Judson, H.F. The Eighth Day of Creation (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, 1996).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Meselson, M. Explorations in the land of DNA and beyond. Nat Med 10, 1034–1037 (2004).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing