BioRad_StudentGuide copy

BioRad_StudentGuide copy - Student Manual Introduction to...

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Student Manual Introduction to PCR — The Polymerase Chain Reaction You are about to perform a procedure known as PCR 1 to amplify a specific sequence of your own DNA in a test tube. You will be looking for a particular piece of DNA that is present in the genes of many, but not all, people. Analysis of the data generated in this laboratory will enable you to determine whether or not you carry this specific DNA sequence. The genome , composed of DNA, is our hereditary code. This is the so-called blueprint that controls much of our appearance, behavior, and tendencies. Molecular biology is the study of genes and the molecular details that regulate the flow of genetic information from DNA to RNA to proteins, from generation to generation. Biotechnology uses this knowledge to manipulate organisms’ (microbes, plants, or animals) DNA to help solve human problems. Within the molecular framework of biology, DNA, RNA, and proteins are closely tied to each other. Because proteins and enzymes ultimately play such a critical role in the life process, scientists have spent many lifetimes studying proteins in an attempt to understand how they work. With this understanding, it was believed we could cure, prevent, and overcome disease and physical handicaps as well as explain exactly how and why organisms exist, propagate, and die. However, the complete answer to how and why does not lie solely in the knowledge of how enzymes function; we must learn how they are made. If each enzyme is different, then what controls these differences and what is the blueprint for this difference? That answer lies within our genome, or genetic code. Thus, you may realize why researchers today, in an attempt to understand the mechanisms behind the various biological processes, study nucleic acids as well as proteins to get a complete picture. In the last 20 years, many advances in nucleic acid techniques have allowed researchers to study the roles that nucleic acids play in biology. It took the imagination and hard work of many scientists to reveal the answers to one of the most mysterious puzzles of life — understanding the mechanisms that control how DNA is translated into proteins within living cells. Before Beginning This Lab, See If You Can Answer the Following Questions How is DNA faithfully passed on from generation to generation? What causes genetic disease in some people but not others? How do scientists obtain DNA to study? What secrets can DNA tell us about our origins? What human problems can an understanding of DNA help us solve? Should we unlock the secrets held in this most basic building block of life? PCR Set the Stage for a Scientific Revolution In 1983, Kary Mullis 2 at Cetus Corporation developed the molecular biology technique that has since revolutionized genetic research. This technique, called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), transformed molecular biology into a multidisciplinary research field within 5 years of its invention. Before PCR, the molecular biology techniques used to study DNA required such a high level of expertise that relatively few scientists could use them.
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This note was uploaded on 03/14/2011 for the course BIO 314 taught by Professor Ham during the Spring '11 term at Apex College.

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BioRad_StudentGuide copy - Student Manual Introduction to...

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