Interviewee: Kary Mullis.
Kary Mullis talks about his discovery of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a process that allows chemists to produce many copies of a specific fragment of DNA.
(DNAi Location: Manipulation > Techniques > Amplifying > Making many DNA copies)
This procedure will copy the DNA that is between the place where these two little short pieces of it are, they're stuck to it, because their sequence is right to do that. And if you run this process once you'll get an extra copy of the thing that you were trying to figure out what it was in the first place, so you have twice as much. And if you do that again there's nothing that stops me from doing it again, I realized, that was the, I said my God, if I did that again I'd have four times as much, and if I did it again I'd have eight times as much, and I could keep doing that 'til thirty times would give me a billion times as much of this particular little sequence that contains the information that I'm interested in, to find out whether or not this fetus is going to have this particular disease, or all kinds of other DNA-related questions.
Image of Kary Mullis. In 1985, Kary Mullis invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a method of amplifying or producing many copies of a specific piece of DNA. The revelation came to this eccentric character on a drive in northern California.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) enables researchers to produce millions of copies of a specific DNA sequence in approximately two hours. This automated process bypasses the need to use bacteria for amplifying DNA.