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Magic in Solution: An Introduction and Brief History of PCR

If you missed the opportunity to hear Carl Wittwer talk about the history of PCR and his invention of the LightCycler, the video is now available on line.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become a fundamental tool in molecular research and clinical testing. Our presenter, Carl Witter, who has been pushing the frontiers of PCR technology since the early 1990′s, will discuss the origins and early evolution of PCR, including adaptation to RNA, thermostable polymerases, automation, improvements in specificity and rapid temperature cycling.

Perhaps the most significant advance is real-time PCR, which combines amplification and detection into one instrument as a superior solution for nucleic acid quantification. Real-time PCR is enabled by monitoring the reaction with double stranded DNA dyes or specific probes, including hydrolysis, hybridization, and conformation-sensitive probes. Carl will compare early real-time instruments and how PCR product and probe melting analysis continues to improve in resolution, allowing greater sequence detail for genotyping and variant scanning.

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