In my previous publications on The importance of genetics in the current situation I described DNA and the importance of understanding it today. With all this situation of Pandemic there is something that is indispensable, and this is to be able to diagnose if a person is infected or not, the technique that is used is the PCR.
This is an example of the application of biotechnology in the resolution of a serious problem at present.
Of course, this is not the only use it has, there is much more, but in this publication I will particularly explain to you what it consists of.
Follow me and find out how it's done.
To understand the process, we must briefly review the structure of DNA, remembering that it is composed of subunits called nucleotides, which are linked together to form strands, and in turn one links to another forming a chain that resembles a rolled-up ladder.
With this in mind, let's continue with something else that I must clarify before going on to describe the process:
- Polymerase Chain Reaction
Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, is a technique for making many copies of a given region of DNA in vitro (in a test tube rather than an organism).Source
Polymerase is a macromolecule called enzyme, whose biological function is to form the chains, or rather, to lengthen them. That is to say, *it is like a worker who is in charge of joining one nucleotide to another by forming the strands. And then two strands come together and form the chain.
Well, PCR is the replication and elongation (lengthening) of a small fragment of DNA that is extracted from a specific sample. In this case a nasal swab is performed, and then from that swab the sample is extracted, which will be submitted to this test (PCR).
It is assumed beforehand that there are traces of viral DNA in this sample, so this machine (called a thermal cycler) provides the ideal conditions in terms of nutrients and temperature for the Enzyme Polymerase to do its job.
The thermocycler is an indispensable tool to perform this test, it is responsible for creating optimal temperature conditions to carry out the molecular processes, with temperature changes in a cyclical manner, previously predetermined.
Then, in that small test tube, the sample, nucleotides, Polymerase, is added and the temperature can be regulated so that the enzyme is activated and does its job, lengthening the DNA chain of that small sample, obtaining many replicates of it and that is when it can be compared with other samples that are in a large DNA database.
We must remember that each virus, each microorganism, has its own particular genome sequence, which makes it unique and therefore identifiable. In this particular case of the Pandemic that we are living, once the sequence of the sample is obtained it is possible to determine if the causal agent of the respiratory infection is the coronaVirus or not.
I hope I have explained in an easy way and that from this reading you have a better idea of what this test is about, besides the benefits that biotechnology brings in these times of health crisis, however, this is not the only use that it has, there are other very interesting things, which I will share later
So look out for my next puvblication.
For reading me thank you very much.
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