Introduction to Experiment

The key to the overthrow of the Watson-Crick structure, which I regard as a biologically-irrelevant laboratory artifact, is to demonstrate the following two things:

  1. That the strands of a native circular duplex chromosome can be non-destructively separated, and
  2. That the separated strands can be reannealed to yield the reconstituted native duplex, with all its physical properties restored.

Neither of these things would be topologically possible if DNA had a net helical twist. But, although nearly the entirety of the molecular biological establishment dogmatically screams "Impossible!", the fact of the matter is that both these things have already been accomplished! To anyone who believes in the power and ultimate triumph of logical thought, the situation is fairly beyond belief. The strand separation was published (Tai Te Wu, 1996), and the result has never been questioned or challenged, but the world of molecular biology has done a masterful job of ignoring it completely.

The reannealing, however, was not published, except for an incomplete and imperfect student lab effort, which I duly noted in my publication on the experimental protocols to be described below (Biegeleisen, 2016).

Enough history see the videos and PowerPoint presentations on this web site for more. Now let us proceed to the experimental protocols. Common sense might suggest that the logical place to start would be with the strand separation protocol, since the demonstration of the non-destructive separation of circular plasmid strands is, by itself, more than sufficient to prove the non-helicity of native DNA. Although, as stated above, this has been previously accomplished and published, I do not recommend that you do this first. The Tai Te Wu experiment, referenced above, was very difficult, expensive and time-consuming. No one will ever attempt to repeat it. In sharp contrast, the protocol presented here is easy, cheap and takes only a few minutes to complete. If so, why should it not be done first? Only because it has never been done before. In science, any road not traveled could have unforeseen pitfalls and obstacles. If you attempt this experiment and fail, you will become discouraged, and it is not likely that you will persevere after that.

Therefore, I strongly recommend that you begin with the strand reannealing protocol, because that one has been done twice, and the outcome is certain. I have included, in that protocol, controls that are so compelling that no one will dare to challenge the result.

Click here to proceed to the strand-reannealing experiment.

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Click here to proceed to the strand separation experiment.

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