DNA was first isolated, analyzed, and recognized as a unique macro-molecule by Friedrich Miescher in 1869. He was an eminent physiological chemist from Switzerland, and he isolated this substance from the pus of discarded surgical bandages. He called it nuclein, since it was located in the nucleus of the cells. Further, in 1937, William Astbury produced the first X-ray diffraction patterns, which proved that the DNA had a regular structure.
In 1928, Frederick Griffith performed experiments to prove that DNA carried genetic information. Thereafter, Oswald Avery along with his co-workers identified DNA as the transforming principle, in the year 1943. The role of DNA in heredity was confirmed in 1952, when Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase showed that it is the genetic material of the T2 phage. Finally, in 1953, James D. Watson and Francis Crick suggested the first accurate model of DNA structure. It was the Meselson-Stahl experiment in 1958, which led to the actual confirmation of the replication mechanism, which was implied by the double-helical structure.
The discovery of DNA was one of the major steps in the field of genetics. DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid, and it contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. The main function of its molecules includes long-term storage of information.