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 The positivity rate for BayCare patients jumped from 2% early last month to roughly 13% as of Monday, according to results from polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests. Sam Ogozalek, Orlando Sentinel, 28 June 2024 The viral fragments were detected using quantitative polymerase chain reaction testing, which is known for its exceptional sensitivity in detecting even trace amounts of viral genetic material. Todd Cornish, The Conversation, 25 Apr. 2024 It should be noted that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that was used can detect both live viruses and fragments of dead ones, and cannot differentiate between the two. Helen Branswell, STAT, 21 May 2024 Officials noted at the time that the method used to find H5N1 in milk—highly sensitive quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) testing—could not confirm the presence of live virus. Ed Cara / Gizmodo, Quartz, 2 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for polymerase chain reaction 

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 19 Jul. 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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