Cite this page: Shackelford R. Polymerase chain reaction - definition. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/MolecularPCRdefinition.html. Accessed August 21st, 2019.
Definition / general
- 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 (Wikipedia: Polymerase Chain Reaction [Accessed 4 June 2018])
- 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: Kary Mullis [Accessed 4 June 2018]), 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
- Frequently called PCR