Quantitative parameters for a two-state cooperative transition in duplex DNAs were finally obtained during the last 5 years. After a brief discussion of observations pertaining to the existence of the two-state equilibrium per se, the lengths, torsion, and bending elastic constants of the two states involved and the cooperativity parameter of the model are simply stated. Experimental tests of model predictions for the responses of DNA to small applied stretching, twisting, and bending stresses, and changes in temperature, ionic conditions, and sequence are described. The mechanism and significance of the large cooperativity, which enables significant DNA responses to such small perturbations, are also noted. The capacity of the model to resolve a number of long-standing and sometimes interconnected puzzles in the extant literature, including the origin of the broad pre-melting transition studied by numerous workers in the 1960s and 1970s, is demonstrated. Under certain conditions, the model predicts significant long-range attractive or repulsive interactions between hypothetical proteins with strong preferences for one or the other state that are bound to well-separated sites on the same DNA. A scenario is proposed for the activation of the ilvPG promoter on a supercoiled DNA by integration host factor.