The Scientist, in collaboration with Biosearch Technologies, invited Kary Mullis to reflect back on these 30 years in terms of his initial discovery, how things stand today, and where he thinks PCR is headed in the future.
I got into PCR sometime in around 1988 – and have since developed amplifications for multicopy genes, virus genes, whole virus genomes, and taught students to do the same. I have worked with papillomaviruses, HIV, geminiviruses, chicken infectious anaemia virus and potyviruses; my students do PCR for gene assembly and verification of cloned inserts, and do quantitative PCR and cDNA PCR for quantitation of gene expression and assay of virus replication in the presence of inhibitory constructs.
It revolutionised our work more than 30 years ago, and continues to be a fundamental workhorse technique in our labs today.
Viva, PCR, viva!
Kary Mullis – not so much. The man’s a HIV denialist, or has been, and I have no time for them.