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 Employees with USA Health administered the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nasal swab test to determine if the employees had COVID-19. Mobile County, in early May, was the state’s leader in coronavirus cases with 1,340 positive cases and 77 death. al, "Mobile Metro Jail is now COVID-19 free, sheriff says," 24 June 2020 The Championship's return-to-play guidelines approved last weekend now mandate weekly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests of all players and staff who work with players. Briar Napier, The Arizona Republic, "4 Phoenix Rising FC players test positive for COVID-19," 24 June 2020 The gold standard tests recommended by the WHO are molecular assays, such as reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Sarah Wild, Scientific American, "African Countries Scramble to Ramp up Testing for COVID-19," 16 June 2020 If a person has low concentrations of the virus in their body—concentration is low at the beginning of infection—then a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the standard coronavirus test, might not be able to detect it. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "How the world agreed on a 14-day coronavirus quarantine—and the (risky) ways to shorten it," 8 June 2020 One complicating factor for COVID-19 is that many of the tests used by doctors tracking patients—or by researchers swabbing hospital light switches—use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. Lois Parshley, National Geographic, "How long does the coronavirus last inside the body?," 3 June 2020 The majority of diagnostic tests for Covid-19 rely on a technique to process patient samples known as polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. Kristen V Brown, Bloomberg.com, "Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $70 Million to Tackle Covid-19 Testing," 1 June 2020 Unlike commonly available coronavirus tests that use polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, antigen diagnostics work by quickly detecting fragments of virus in a sample. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "F.D.A. Approves First Antigen Test for Detecting the Coronavirus," 9 May 2020 As designed, the kits required the labs to use a highly sensitive molecular technique called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. David Willman, Anchorage Daily News, "Contamination at CDC lab delayed rollout of coronavirus tests," 19 Apr. 2020

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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The first known use of polymerase chain reaction was in 1985

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Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polymerase chain reaction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polymerase%20chain%20reaction. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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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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