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Polymerase Chain Reaction

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) replicates specific genetic sequences (DNA or RNA, in either plus- or minus-sense) so that vast quantities of a certain DNA segment can be quickly produced (amplification). PCR relies upon a few basic steps:

  1. Obtain genetic material for PCR.

  2. Add oligonucleotide primers complementary to the sequence you wish to amplify.

  3. Single dNTPs are added to provide base pairs for newly synthesized DNA or RNA.

  4. Heat-stable polymerases are added to conduct the replication.

  5. The reaction is repeatedly heated and cooled, splitting and annealing DNA for the replication assembly to bind an conduct the replication.