AUG 27, 2016 11:50 AM PDT

A Simple Description of PCR

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Chances are good that if you've read about health sciences at some point, you've heard of PCR. But if you aren't one of the many people that routinely perform this procedure as part of biological research, you may not know exactly what it is. My simple description of it is - a gene photocopy machine.

This video from Thermo Fisher Scientific is here to educate us about the standard method, which was first developed around 1968 by Kjell Kleppe and 1968 Nobel laureate H. Gobind Khorana; then later improved by Kary Banks Mullis and Michael Smith who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work.

The video does not actually show scientists performing PCR in the lab, so I will add that when PCR is done at the lab bench, essentially researchers are mixing very small amounts of various clear, usually colorless liquids in tubes, then applying those tubes to machines that cycle through a set of temperatures. At the end, one is left with a clear liquid that contains the amplified gene fragment the researcher is interested in.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUL 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Bacteria More Lethal and Antibiotic Resistant in Space
JUL 27, 2020
Bacteria More Lethal and Antibiotic Resistant in Space
Research has shown that bacteria are more lethal and resistant to antibiotics when exposed to microgravity (a lack of gr ...
JUL 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Light from the Big Bang Reveals Age of the Universe
JUL 31, 2020
Light from the Big Bang Reveals Age of the Universe
From analyzing ancient light emitted by the Big Bang, physicists have been able to provide a new estimate of the Earth&# ...
SEP 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Something Unexpected Happens on Mars During Solar Eclipse
SEP 16, 2020
Something Unexpected Happens on Mars During Solar Eclipse
From data captured by NASA's InSight Mars Lander, researchers in Switzerland have found that Mars behaves differentl ...
SEP 25, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Colossal Study for the Missing (Anti)Matter
SEP 25, 2020
Colossal Study for the Missing (Anti)Matter
Physicists believe that our observable universe exists in a mirrored configuration: any fundamental particle such as pro ...
OCT 02, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
A New Way of Building Houses: 3-D Printing with Clay
OCT 02, 2020
A New Way of Building Houses: 3-D Printing with Clay
Our ancestors had a long history of building dwelling structures using clay and plant-based fibrous materials. Even thes ...
OCT 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Water Found on Moon Enough to Sustain a Lunar Base
OCT 29, 2020
Water Found on Moon Enough to Sustain a Lunar Base
For the first time, scientists have found water on the moon's sunlit surface. Coupled with other evidence of water i ...
Loading Comments...