polymerase chain reaction
A method for amplifying a DNA base sequence using a heat- stable polymerase and two 20-base primers, one complementary to the (+)-strand at one end of the sequence to be amplified and the other complementary to the (- )-strand at the other end. Because the newly synthesized DNA strands can subsequently serve as additional templates for the same primer sequences, successive rounds of primer annealing, strand elongation, and dissociation produce rapid and highly specific amplification of the desired sequence. PCR also can be used to detect the existence of the defined sequence in a DNA sample.
Selected polymerase chain reaction links: