Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Polymerase Chain Reaction

"Polymerase Chain Reaction" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure, which enables searching at various levels of specificity.

In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.


This graph shows the total number of publications written about "Polymerase Chain Reaction" by people in Harvard Catalyst Profiles by year, and whether "Polymerase Chain Reaction" was a major or minor topic of these publication.
Bar chart showing 4682 publications over 31 distinct years, with a maximum of 271 publications in 1996
To see the data from this visualization as text, click here.
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Funded by the NIH/NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, grant number UL1TR001102, and through institutional support from Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.