Polymerase Chain Reaction Testing
Polymerase chain reaction testing refers to a chemical process where billions of copies of a specific DNA or RNA are replicated allowing its amplification and study. Polymerase chain testing has been optimized to enable the diagnosis and study of various disease-causing agents including viruses, and bacteria. PCR testing is also being successfully integrated into forensics and scientific research.
How Does a PCR Test Work?
PCR tests operate on the principles of genetic material amplification. It typically consists of a series of repeated steps that enable scientists to obtain useful quantities of a genetic sample for study or testing.
Useful Applications for PCR
Polymerase chain reaction testing is currently being used to diagnose a broad spectrum of medical conditions. PCR technology is also being used in forensic medicine and research.
Advantages and Limitations of PCR Testing
PCR testing is a very powerful diagnostic and research tool that produces highly accurate and replicable results. Polymerase chain reactions give clinicians a diagnostic edge allowing them to commence treatment earlier. Rapid diagnosis and treatments have been shown to improve outcomes. However, to produce accurate results, PCR will require exact genetic materials to act as primers and achieve satisfactory amplification. Failure to access necessary genetic will render the entire process unreliable. DNA polymerases used in the amplification process may also undergo denaturation and alter the results. Finally, even minute levels of contamination may be amplified, leading to inaccuracies.
Applications for PCR
- Healthcare: Diagnostic Applications
- DNA Amplification for Cloning and Sequencing
- Forensic Medicine and Legal Applications
Applications in Research
- Rapid synthesis of DNA pieces
- DNA sequencing & cloning
- Phylogenic DNA analysis
- Gene expression studies