Date: January 5, 1998 Chart 1, Chart 2
n the beginning there was Taq. Actually, there were others before Taq. There were precursory polymerases, such as that from E. coli, that lost their enzymatic activities at elevated temperatures. This shortfall made thermal cycling a time-consuming chore, with the necessity of adding new polymerase after each cycle. Then came the thermostable polymerases such as Taq DNA polymerase, which was isolated from the thermophilic, aerobic bacterium Thermus aquaticus. Taq is the mother of thermophilic DNA polymerases. Where would the molecular biology lab be without Taq? The laboratory would be substantially quieter and less cluttered without Taq churning away in thermal cyclers.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)* has definitely kept scientists busy and altered their approach to scientific problems. The foothold PCR has gained in labs has prompted scientists to optimize and refine this technique. As such, this...

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