Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a commonly used laboratory technique used to detect the presence of a particular DNA by multiplying it to make it easily detectable. PCR testing is used in different areas of biology. A PCR test has over the years been used in different fields. Below are some applications of a PCR test.
The first application of PCR test is in the field of forensic and applied sciences. Here PCR tests are used in criminal investigations to identify the DNA that was left behind. It helps identify the victim or even come up with a suspect. It relies on the amplification of individuals’ unique short Tandem repeats (STRs) on gene DNA to help differentiate individuals
The second application of PCR tests is in agriculture. The most common use in the field is to identify the presence or absence of genetically modified material in a product. It is further used to identify the presence of a food pathogen and plant genotypes for breeding.
Another application for PCR test is it is used to detect the presence of bacterium or DNA virus in an individual. By taking a sample and exposing it to different conditions to ensure in the presence of the DNA in question it will multiply hence easily detectable. PCR tests are more sensitive out of the existing methods used to detect pathogens. Due to the issue of Coronavirus, PCR tests have become more common. Here PCR tests involve three very important steps, the first step is the Denaturation stage. Extraction of DNA from specimen occurs. This could be inform of a swab sample taken from the throat and nose. Once the DNA is obtained, amplification of the said DNA is carried out. Where separation of the two strands of DNA double helix is separated by being exposed to different conditions in this case raising the temperatures. The second step is the annealing step and finally extension where the multiplication of the DNA antigen occurs making it easily detectable.
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