In the 30 years since Kary Mullis imagined PCR while cruising a California highway, the technology has impacted just about every area of life science research. No longer are researchers required to laboriously clone, identify, and isolate pieces of DNA before studying them—they can simply amplify them instead, using paired oligonucleotides and a hardy polymerase to pluck the needle from the metaphorical haystack. Shattered, too, are researchers’ assumptions regarding how much DNA is enough for analysis. When concentration doubles every PCR cycle, even one copy of DNA is sufficient.
PCR: Past, Present, & Future
Source: The Scientist
Image credits: Greg Dale/ Getty Images
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