PCR – technique & application

One of the topics that you’ve probably covered in AS90718 is PCR – the polymerase chain reaction & its applications. You may have read quite a bit about it. Well, here’s one more item for your reading list.

 It’s from an ongoing blog by “Orac” – a surgeon & cancer researcher from the US who writes some excellent material on the nature of science and research methods (as well as being an arch-debunker of pseudoscience). 

This particular article was written in the context of a court hearing about the possible side-effects of the MMR vaccine. Some of the supposed evidence linking MMR with health problems came from lab analyses using PCR. These analyses were methodologically flawed, and Orac provides a great in-context explanation of how PCR works and how it should be applied. It’s a longish article but well worth taking the time to read it.

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