The video above explains the process of replicating a strand of DNA using PCR. (Multimedia 1)

A comparison between the size of a blood sample needed for RFLP vs PCR.

Comparison between needed blood size for RFLP vs. PCR (Image 5


The polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, is a method of duplicating a small strand of DNA millions of times. A large amount of DNA would be easier to analyze than a small amount that would be recovered from skin cells at a crime scene. PCR uses an enzyme called polymerase to duplicate different strands of DNA. A small molecule of DNA can be replicated into billions of molecules in just a few hours!

According to the DNA Initiative, PCR can "enable the laboratory to analyze highly degraded evidence for DNA. On the other hand, because the sensitive PCR technique replicates any and all of the DNA contained in an evidence sample, greater attention to contamination issues is necessary when identifying, collecting, and preserving DNA evidence." (Citation 7)

There are many companies that commercially supply testing kits for PCR. Life Technologies, formerly Applied Biosystems, based in Carlsbad, California, is a company that provides equiment for researchers in genotyping and genetic analysis. (Citation 4)




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