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David Lane

Elio - and your correspondents - you are right in saying this should be taught. It is an excellent example of how pre-conceptions lead to faulty conclusions. The molecule and its circularity are beyond dispute of course, but Cairns concluded on the basis of grain density that it was replicating unidirectionally from point X. A moment's contemplation of the interpretative diagram shows that it misrepresents the radioautogram and makes no sense in terms of replication either. In fact the molecule shown was from cells labelled uniformly (two generations, if memory serves); the real demonstration of bidirectionality was the Prescott & Kuempel paper, and at the same time Masters & Broda who used a different cunning technique.

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