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Molecular Pathology

Polymerase Chain Reaction


Author: Rodney E. Shackelford, D.O., Ph.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 8 October 2014, last major update January 2010
Copyright: (c) 2008-2014, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Common technique used to amplify very small amounts of a specific DNA sequence, even a single copy, into millions or up to 100 billion copies in a short time
● The technique works best on short DNA sequences of 100 to 1,000 base pairs and employs dNTPs, Taq DNA polymerase, oligonucleotides, specific buffer conditions and thermal cycling
● PCR has many variations and is a fundamental tool in medical research and molecular pathology
● Developed in 1983 by Kary Mullis (Wikipedia), who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993 for this work
● Presently over 350,000 papers have been published which use or refer to this technique.
● References: Wikipedia


● Frequently called PCR

End of Molecular Pathology > Polymerase Chain Reaction > Definition

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