RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / EQUINOX GRAPHICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / EQUINOX GRAPHICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
DNA amplification technique. Animation of a sample of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) being replicated and amplified using what is called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The sample to be amplified (in a PCR tube) is placed inside a thermal cycler. The following section of the clip shows a single-stranded fragment of DNA being acted on at 55 degrees Celsius by an enzyme called DNA polymerase (blue). This creates a complementary copy of the strand, producing a double-stranded DNA fragment in a process called enzymatic replication. The next stage is DNA melting, where the sample is heated until the strands separate (here, at 95 degrees Celsius). This is followed by several more stages of replication and heating, resulting in a chain reaction that exponentially amplifies the amount of DNA present. PCR is widely used in molecular biology and genetics.
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