🧬 Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

DNA can be replicated in the lab (in vitro) by isolating the individual components required, such as enzymes, and adding a template DNA to the mix.

 

If we have obtained a DNA sample or a few, what next? Well, nothing much can be done with that. We must obtain exponentially more DNA to use for any purpose. And it all of course must be identical. We must essentially clone our DNA. Considered the very staple of molecular biology, this technique for multiplying DNA many-fold was invented by a chap Kary Mullis who believes in astrology.

 

The DNA template to be amplified can be extracted from a field sample (a leaf, human saliva, cultured microorganisms, etc.) or synthesised chemically, on order.

 

Essentially the DNA is denatured so the 2 strands break apart, short complementary bits called primers attach to the strands, the enzyme DNA polymerase binds to the primers and initiates the assembly of…