Q:

What did Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase discover?

A:

Through a series of experiments the duo conducted in 1952, Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase discovered that genetic material is found in DNA. Prior to their discovery, most scientists believed that genetic material was found in proteins due to their diversity and prevalence in cells.

In their experiments, Hershey and Chase injected chemical tracers that resembled proteins and DNA into a type of rapidly reproducing virus called T2. They then tracked the course of the tracers as they made their way through reproduction and found that the tracers that resembled DNA were much more likely than the tracers that resembled proteins to be found in future generations of the cells. Hershey and Chase concluded that DNA, and not protein, was associated with genetic material.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the function of the genetic material in a cell?

    A:

    The two main functions of the genetic material in a cell, also known as DNA, are gene expression and replication. DNA accomplishes gene expression by providing the instructions necessary for cell machinery to make proteins. Replication occurs when the DNA makes a copy of itself for incorporation into a new cell.

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    What are biological mutant agents?

    A:

    Biological mutant agents are substances that change the genetic material of organisms, such as DNA, and include certain chemicals and rays, such as ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays, along with viruses and bacteria. Many mutagenic agents cause cancer, and are dually classified as carcinogens. While mutant agents cause artificial changes in genetic codes and replication, some mutations occur naturally and are caused by spontaneous hydrolysis and errors in DNA replication, recombination and repair.

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    When are the chromosomes and genes actually replicated?

    A:

    The chromosomes and genes contained within DNA are replicated during the S phase of the interphase cell cycle. DNA replication occurs within the nucleus of eukaryotes and in the cytoplasm of prokaryotes. DNA replication occurs in all living organisms.

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  • Q:

    How do you describe the flow of genetic information?

    A:

    Genetic information is stored in DNA and can be carried from one generation to the next via both DNA and RNA. Both DNA and RNA are long protein-based polymers that are comprised of nucleic acids. They carry genetic information from parental cells to daughter cells within the human body.

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