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Polymerase Chain Reaction

Glossary

polymerase chain reaction

A laboratory method used to make many copies of a specific DNA sequence. Also called PCR.

A procedure that produces millions of copies of a short segment of DNA through repeated cycles of: (1) denaturation, (2) annealing, and (3) elongation. Polymerase chain reaction is a very common procedure in molecular genetic testing and may be used to generate a sufficient quantity of DNA to perform a test (e.g., allele-specific amplification, trinucleotide repeat quantification). Also called PCR.

Last updated: 2014-02-26

Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary)