Polymerase Chain Reaction

Time to complete course: 36 min.

About the Polymerase Chain Reaction Virtual Lab Simulation

In the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) simulation you will be thrown right into a crime scene where a murder has taken place. To investigate the crime scene your first task is to collect blood samples in the hope that the murderer has left traces of their DNA.

Analyze DNA

After sampling you will go to the lab to isolate and analyze the sample of DNA you collected. By using a PCR kit, a thermocycler, and the purified DNA from the crime scene, it is up to you to mix the correct reagents and perform the PCR experiment.

See the structure of DNA and its replication up close

A 3D animation will show the PCR experiment at the molecular level, illustrating the structure of DNA and its replication. Quiz questions will be asked throughout the experimental process, as well as at specific steps of the PCR itself.

Identify the murderer

In the PCR simulation, you will your collected sample and other prepared samples from the suspects on a gel, and then compare the patterns that emerge.

Will you be able to identify the murderer?

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Learn the techniques and application of Polymerase Chain Reaction and Gel Electrophoresis. Explore real world application, such as analyzing unique genetic fingerprints to solve a murder case.

Techniques In Lab

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • DNA profiling

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Explain the function of DNA polymerase in DNA replication and synthesis
  • Perform a PCR experiment using DNA from a blood sample as the template
  • Carry out a gel electrophoresis that separates DNA according to its size
  • Interpret the unique signature of the human genome and the use of tandem repeated regions (TRR) in DNA profiling

Screenshots of Polymerase Chain Reaction Virtual Lab Simulation


Dr. Mette Voldby Larsen

Dr. Mette Voldby Larsen

Institute of Systems Biology
Denmark Technical University

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