Starting a chain reaction

“I’m not politically correct…”

Kary Mullis

Kary Mullis was an eccentric biochemist with a reputation as a difficult colleague. He was sexist, self focused and loved the limelight. He gave the impression of being more interested in surfing than lab work. In 1983 whilst driving in the Bay Area, California he had a sudden idea for pinpointing a specific sequence of DNA and synthesising an enormous number of copies. A single copy DNA could be identified in a sample of tissue. Muller knew instantly he was famous and would win a Nobel Prize, as he did in 1993. Like all Eureka moments in science there was also a lot of lab work, collaboration with others and a struggle to get novel work published. The impact of PCR has been unquestionable and unmeasurable. It has been said that biology can be divided into two periods, before and after PCR. Come 2020 and the COVID pandemic has made PCR a household phrase. You can even use it to count leukaemia cells in your blood, should you be so inclined. #0.026% #letsmakelemonade

1 thought on “Starting a chain reaction

  1. Excellent post:)


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