polymerase chain reaction

noun

Definition of polymerase chain reaction

: an in vitro technique for rapidly synthesizing large quantities of a given DNA segment that involves separating the DNA into its two complementary strands, using DNA polymerase to synthesize two-stranded DNA from each single strand, and repeating the process abbreviation PCR

Examples of polymerase chain reaction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

By the nineteen-nineties, when PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis became the standard technique of genetic paternity testing, the accuracy of results had climbed to 99.9 per cent. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "The Paternity Reveal," 24 June 2019 The first hint of these indirect effects came in the 1980s and ’90s with the advent of the polymerase chain reaction, a technique that enabled researchers to look at nucleotide-level variation in gene sequences for the first time. Quanta Magazine, "Theorists Debate How ‘Neutral’ Evolution Really Is," 8 Nov. 2018 In Hawaii, officials confirm cases by trying to pick up and amplify fragments of worm DNA from sick patients’ cerebrospinal fluid or other tissue (a polymerase chain reaction test). Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Hawaii warns tourists of parasitic worm that can burrow into human brains," 30 May 2019 For decades, that was the crux of the problem: Kimura had proposed neutral theory at a time before inexpensive sequencing technology and the polymerase chain reaction became available, when gene sequence data were sparse. Quanta Magazine, "Theorists Debate How ‘Neutral’ Evolution Really Is," 8 Nov. 2018 The team had been forced to destroy the weevil, because part of its body was needed for the DNA-generating process, called polymerase chain reaction amplification or PCR. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Jurassic Park’s Unlikely Symbiosis With Real-World Science," 15 June 2018 When a sample is placed in the SigNify, the device uses a polymerase chain reaction to reproduce the tags for easy identification. Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, "How the Feds Will Use DNA To Track Legal Weed," 15 May 2018 In the lab, the DNA is separated and millions of copies are made using a method called polymerase chain reaction or PCR. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Alleged Golden State Killer Busted by DNA. But Are Tests '100%' Accurate?," 25 Apr. 2018 Influenza B tragically killed Dylan Winnik based on the preliminary finding by State Health Laboratory using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Caitlin Keating, PEOPLE.com, "Florida Family Devastated After 12-Year-Old Boy Dies From the Flu 2 Days After Becoming Ill," 5 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polymerase chain reaction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of polymerase chain reaction

1985, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near polymerase chain reaction

polymer

Polymera

polymerase

polymerase chain reaction

polymeria

polymeride

polymerisation

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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The first known use of polymerase chain reaction was in 1985

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More Definitions for polymerase chain reaction

polymerase chain reaction

noun

Medical Definition of polymerase chain reaction

: an in vitro technique for rapidly synthesizing large quantities of a given DNA segment that involves separating the DNA into its two complementary strands, binding a primer to each single strand at the end of the given DNA segment where synthesis will start, using DNA polymerase to synthesize two-stranded DNA from each single strand, and repeating the process abbreviation PCR

More from Merriam-Webster on polymerase chain reaction

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polymerase chain reaction

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