Polymerase Chain Reaction By: Vivienne Pongrace & Katie Bryant

What is the advancement in biotechnology?

Polymerase chain reaction has enabled researchers to perform experiments easily that previously had said to be “impossible”. Researchers use it to amplify sequences even if they only have a small about of DNA. It can make billions of copies of any specific sequence of DNA.

How does the technology work?

Polymerase chain reaction is based on the way cells replicate their DNA. A sequence of DNA a researcher wants to amplify undergoes about thirty rounds of replication in a small reaction tube.

Why is this technology important?

Polymerase chain reaction is important because it is now possible to generate millions of DNA copies from a single strand of DNA. Is considered to a revolutionary yet inexpensive biochemical technology. PCR is used everyday to diagnose diseases, identify bacteria, and many other ways.

How has this technology impacted medicine, forensics, or agriculture?

Instead of the process taking years, scientists are able to clone, sequence, and identify a new gene in about a week. In medicine, PCR is used to screen for hereditary diseases. People at risk of a certain disease to predict the likelihood that their children will inherit the disease. PCR also can speed up research on emerging infectious diseases. PCR has also changed forensic science. Since PCR can amplify small amounts of DNA, paternity testing can now be performed on a single swab taken from someone's mouth

What are the potential problems associated with this technology?

Polymerase is widely used in multiple work forces and often reveals very important data. Unfortunately, a faulty enzyme or reagent can throw off the entire data, messing up any results.

What are the ethical considerations relevant to this technology?

Some people consider PCR unethical, because since DNA is produced so quickly and easily, it might be possible for outside sources to obtain a copy of it for their own use without the owner's permission. On the other hand, some people think that genetic engineering is unethical altogether, and believe that DNA should be left alone to replicate naturally

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