How Does a PCR Machine Work?

The polymerase chain reaction, otherwise known as PCR, is a process in biochemistry that is used to magnify a single or multiple strands of DNA to multiply them into thousands or even millions of sequences. Now to complete this process, a PCR machine is needed. Logically, it is the one that is responsible for multiplying or copying a particular DNA sequence. It is not that easy to operate however because only those who are knowledgeable are authorized to operate the machine.

How It Works

Now you might ask, how does a PCR machine work? Well, if you know how science operates then you will have an idea on how it multiplies the sequences. On the other hand, if you do not know how it works, then this article will briefly discuss how it does. 

  • The first step is where the reactants are combined in a vial that is specifically made for the PCR process. However, it should be noted that all the needed ingredients be present in the vial to ensure the best results of the process. After that, the vial is situated in the PCR machine.
  • The next step is to heat the mixture between 90 - 95°C and set it to 30 seconds. After the mixture is heated, the DNA strands would separate as the bonds holding them will break down.
  • After said time, you are to cool down the temperature around 55 - 60°C. At this point, the primers of the mixture shall bind to a DNA strand/s. This step is quite vital as this is where the copying of the DNA starts. 
  • The final step to complete the process is to heat the mixture again for a minute to 75°C. This will allow the DNA to form the polymerase enzyme. The enzyme is likewise important for you to succeed in the process as it produces similar DNA strands.
That's, in a nutshell, how the polymerase chain reaction occurs and how a PCR machine works. If you have an questions, ask away in the comments.

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