Articles

Recent advances in the polymerase chain reaction

Science  21 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5013, pp. 1643-1651
DOI: 10.1126/science.2047872

Abstract

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has dramatically altered how molecular studies are conducted as well as what questions can be asked. In addition to simplifying molecular tasks typically carried out with the use of recombinant DNA technology, PCR has allowed a spectrum of advances ranging from the identification of novel genes and pathogens to the quantitation of characterized nucleotide sequences. PCR can provide insights into the intricacies of single cells as well as the evolution of species. Some recent developments in instrumentation, methodology, and applications of the PCR are presented in this review.

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