Before the invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by Kary Mullis, scientists wanting to analyse DNA had to rely on large quantities of biological material to provide them with the raw material for their experiments. PCR works as a kind of “molecular photocopier”, generating large numbers of copies of a sequence of DNA and allowing researchers to obtain DNA from the smallest of samples. In this exercise, you will use PCR to amplify a gene of interest and demonstrate its presence using agarose gel electrophoresis.

Brief (one page) protocol 

View the online manual in the section below or download .pdf, 665kb

Risk assessments

  • DNA Electrophoresis Risk Assessment [download .pdf - 231KB]
  • PCR Risk Assessment [download .pdf 239kb]

Supplementary information