Interviewee: Kary Mullis.
Kary Mullis speaks about the process of find a specific fragment of DNA amongst many pieces in a complex mixture.
(DNAi Location: Manipulation > Techniques > Amplifying > Finding the DNA to copy)
When you're working with DNA, you're usually, you're only just interested in one little part of it at a time. You can't, you're not interested in the whole three billion base pairs. You might be interested in it but you can't deal with that many at once. So this was a way to focus, to pull the needle that you were interested in, out of this haystack full of all these other needles that looked really similar, to pull the one you wanted out and get as much of it as you wanted to work with. And it just, it changed the rules, molecular biology had always been limited by the problem of not being able to tell the difference between one sequence and another, nor to get it away from all the rest of 'em. They all look pretty much alike in a tube, you can't tell.
Image of Kary Mullis. In 1985, Kary Mullis invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a method of amplifying or producing many copies of a specific piece of DNA. The revelation came to this eccentric character on a drive in northern California.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) enables researchers to produce millions of copies of a specific DNA sequence in approximately two hours. This automated process bypasses the need to use bacteria for amplifying DNA.