Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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PCR

Polymerase chain reaction, an in vitro technique used to amplify a specific region of DNA in order to produce many copies; dsDNA is thermally denatured and a complementary strand is elongated by a polymerase, a process known as a cycle; each cycle doubles the number of copies of the DNA region of interest. This Nobel prize-winning technique is utilized extensively in research, and is especially useful when DNA samples are minute, as in certain forensic applications.

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