Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
Washington, M. Todd Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Last reviewed:April 2019
Show previous versions
- PCR methodology
- Applications of PCR
- Scientific research
- Clinical diagnosis
- Paternity testing
- Forensic science
- Reverse-transcription PCR
- Real-time PCR
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A procedure for copying and thereby amplifying the sequence of a defined region of a DNA molecule. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique that enables researchers to copy and amplify the complementary strands of a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule. This procedure was developed by Kary Banks Mullis in 1983 and rapidly became one of the most important tools used by molecular biologists. PCR generates millions of new DNA molecules, all with sequences identical to that of a region of the original DNA molecule (Fig. 1). In addition to its use in scientific research, PCR has many wide-ranging applications, including clinical diagnosis, paternity testing, and forensic science. See also: Biotechnology; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Gene amplification; Genetics; Molecular biology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 39 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information