DNA's from diverse cells of different species and from diverse tissues give the same x-ray diffraction pattern. The presently observable structure of DNA appears, then, to be the same in all cells. Thus, DNA in the resting state—the stored genetic material, from sperm of Paracentrotus lividus, Arbacia lixula, and salmon and from T2 and T7 bacteriophage—gives a pattern indistinguishable from DNA from very rapidly dividing cells, e.g., human acute leukemic leukocytes, human leukemic myeloid cells, mouse sarcoma 180, and bacteria—E. coli and pneumococci—during their logarithmic growth. The same x-ray patterns are given by DNA's from more slowly dividing tissues, e.g. calf liver, calf thymus, and human normal and leukemic lymphatic tissue. DNA from chicken erythrocytes—a DNA presumably metabolically inert—gives a similar picture. DNA's from several sources with a wide range in nitrogen base ratios, prepared independently by different workers using various methods, have given final products in varying yield; these all gave the same x-ray pattern, suggesting that all DNA is in the double-helical configuration. Finally, separation of the DNA molecule into a number of fractions with a varying adenine + thymine:guanine + cytosine ratio, but a constant adenine:thymine and guanine:cytosine ratio, each giving the same x-ray pattern as the original whole molecule, suggests that DNA cannot exist in significant amounts in forms other than the double-helix.
X-ray diffraction photographs of sperm heads, extracted nucleoprotamine, calf thymus nuclei and extracted nucleohistone, and of chicken erythrocyte nuclei, are not all as well defined as those given by extracted DNA, but it is clear from the general characteristics of the pattern that much of the DNA bound to protein in these nuclei has the usual helical configuration, and that the double-helical structure of DNA exists in the cell and is not an artifact.