Mullis, Kary Banks

Mullis, Kary Banks,

1944–2019, American biochemist, b. Lenoir, N.C., Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1972. Mullis was a researcher with Cetus Corp., Emeryville, Calif., from 1979 to 1986 and with Xytronyx, Inc., San Diego, Calif., from 1986 to 1987. He subsequently was a consultant and lecturer, worked on molecular biology for other corporations, and was a visiting professor and researcher. In 1993 Mullis was a corecipient, with Michael SmithSmith, Michael,
1932–2000, British-born Canadian biochemist, Ph.D. Univ. of Manchester, 1956. Smith was a researcher at the Univ. of British Columbia from 1961 until his death in 2000.
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, of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his invention of polymerase chain reactionpolymerase chain reaction
(PCR), laboratory process in which a particular DNA segment from a mixture of DNA chains is rapidly replicated, producing a large, readily analyzed sample of a piece of DNA; the process is sometimes called DNA amplification.
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 (PCR). PCR enables strands of DNA to be rapidly copied with simple tools, including a test tube, some reagents, and a heat source. PCR is used in a range of applications, from diagnosing disease and DNA fingerprintingDNA fingerprinting
or DNA profiling,
any of several similar techniques for analyzing and comparing DNA from separate sources, used especially in law enforcement to identify suspects from hair, blood, semen, or other biological materials found at the scene of a violent
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 to characterizing the genetic makeup of extinct animal species; it was an essential tool for the Human Genome ProjectHuman Genome Project,
international scientific effort to map all of the genes on the 23 pairs of human chromosomes and, to sequence the 3.1 billion DNA base pairs that make up the chromosomes (see nucleic acid).
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