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Template-Based Synthesis: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Template-Based Synthesis: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

In this activity, by the Concord Consortium's Molecular Literacy project, students learn that "it is difficult, if not practically impossible, for organisms to create a polymer without some guiding template molecule. DNA is then discussed as an example and the basics of DNA replication are explored." Upon completion of this activity students should be able to demonstrate how using a template is an efficient way to create a molecule of specific sequence; discuss the basic mechanism of how DNA replicates; and apply their knowledge of DNA replication to the Polymerase Chain Reaction procedure. The activity itself is a java-based interactive resource built upon the free, open source Molecular Workbench software. In the activity, students are allowed to explore at their own pace in a digital environment full of demonstrations, illustrations, and models they can manipulate. In addition to the activity, visitors will find an overview of the activity, a test and rubric, central concepts, and their correlation to AAAS standards.


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