polymerase chain reaction

noun

: 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 Examples of tests include reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, viral culture and immunofluorescence assays. Angela Rodriguez, Sacramento Bee, 7 Apr. 2024 Instead, viral infections are more commonly diagnosed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme immunoassays. Tanya Feke, Verywell Health, 4 Apr. 2024 There are rapid antigen and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests available for each viral infection. Sarah Klein, Health, 26 Mar. 2024 Viral tests, such as antigen and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), diagnose active COVID infections. Allison Duncan, Health, 31 Oct. 2023 The techniques are then used to run an experiment using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, that can then be further examined using gel electrophoresis. Kendra MacK, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Aug. 2023 However, getting a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test requires a lab visit that can be time-consuming and take days to get your results back. Nsisong Asanga, Health, 12 May 2023 There are two types of COVID-19 tests: Rapid antigen and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).2 Sometimes, those tests produce different results. Lela Moore, Health, 11 Aug. 2023 In this process, the DNA is chemically extracted from the sample, and a polymerase chain reaction is used to amplify the DNA segments. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 22 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polymerase chain reaction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1985, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polymerase chain reaction was in 1985

Dictionary Entries Near polymerase chain reaction

polymerase

polymerase chain reaction

polymeria

Cite this Entry

“Polymerase chain reaction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polymerase%20chain%20reaction. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

polymerase chain reaction

noun
: 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

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