PCR: the reaction that changed biology

By now many of us have felt it – the surprising, invasive sensation of a long-handled cotton bud being shoved through the back of our nose to our throat during a COVID-19 test. While we’re still blinking away our surprise, that cotton bud is being bundled up to be sent off to a lab, where … Continue reading PCR: the reaction that changed biology

What is a PCR test?

PCR was an acronym that dominated the news in 2020. What is the technique, how useful is it, and what does it tell us? Polymerase Chain Reaction refers to a technique that makes a large volume of DNA or RNA from a small sample. This is a standard technique in molecular biology that has been … Continue reading What is a PCR test?

Denisovan DNA may have aided Pacific migration

An international team of scientists has delved into the genetics of the Pacific population to trace the history of human settlement across the vast region – with a few surprising results. By examining the genomes of 317 present-day individuals from 20 populations, the team found that the ancestors of modern-day Pacific populations interbred with little-understood … Continue reading Denisovan DNA may have aided Pacific migration