The PCR program assumes a background knowledge of DNA structure and replication.  It follows the amplification of the first molecule to the appearance of visible quantities of the DNA product.

You are given a single DNA molecule:

You begin the process by setting the temperature to denaturing:


Hints are available if you don't know what to do. Setting the temperature high causes the strands to separate:

Next you lower the temperature to denaturing to enable the primers to anneal to the DNA:

But you need to go and fetch the primers yourself

and drag them to the homologous segment of DNA before they will anneal:

Now both primers are in place, and you change the temperature again:

before adding the DNA polymerase

and dragging the polymerase along the molecule to synthesise the new DNA.

You continue to synthesise DNA, and after a couple of rounds, the following is produced:

Continuing for more rounds of synthesis, with the help of automation from the program, the number of PRC product molecules increases geometrically:


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Last updated: April 19, 2001.