PCR On The Fast Track The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revolutionized researchers' ability to manipulate DNA and RNA. With PCR-an amplification procedure that mimics DNA replication-molecular biologists no longer have to painstakingly purify large quantities of DNA for genetic experiments. The growing number of plastics and laboratory disposables, combined with the advent of reagent kits designed expressly for PCR, are making it easier for scientists to apply the technology in new areas.

PCR minimizes considerations of initial quantities of DNA or RNA. "The beauty of PCR is that it allows us to work with infinitely small quantities of DNA," states Will Gergits, vice president of Therion Corp. in Troy, N.Y.

DNA EXTRACTION SYSTEM: Biotecx Laboratories' EZout System removes DNA fragments from the agarose gel matrix.
Therion uses tests such as DNA fingerprinting to determine the genetic identity of animals. "Any material containing DNA-such as [internal organs] left behind in the...

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