Unit for the PTC-225 Tetrad thermal cycler, United States, 1995
DNA samples are placed inside this module to be amplified or copied. When attached to the rest of the machine, known as a thermal cycler or PCR, millions of identical copies of the sample can be produced within a matter of hours. The Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England, used this type of equipment for their work on sequencing the human genome. The Human genome project, which aimed to sequence the chemical structure of human DNA and identify the genes that determine heredity, was completed in 2003. The machine was made by M J Research Inc.
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DNA stores the information, or blueprints, of every cell and is located in the genes. It is made up of two strands which form a double helix that is linked by hydrogen bonds. It was first described in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.
Part of the nucleus of a cell that determines how our bodies function. Genes are passed from parents to children.
Glossary: thermal cycler
A machine used for copying parts of DNA via the process of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).