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:
Download the software now to your computer to view the program the way your students will view it.
Windows version Macintosh version
Last updated: April 19, 2001.