Iranian researchers succeed in building thermal cycler 

March 18, 2019

TEHRAN — A group of Iranian researchers at Sharif University of Technology have successfully made a thermal cycler after three years of incessant efforts, IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

The thermal cycler (also known as a thermocycler, PCR machine or DNA amplifier) is a laboratory apparatus most commonly used to amplify segments of DNA via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). It is an important instrument which is needed in all the labs working in the field of gene cloning.

Amir Shamloo, (PhD) associate professor at Sharif University of Technology’s school of mechanical engineering, explained that the thermal cycler is currently being used on a daily basis in laboratories, hospitals and clinics, however, so far the machine was manufactured in other countries.

The home-grown PCR machine is now available at one-tenth of its original price in the country, Shamloo highlighted.

PCR is a method widely used in molecular biology to make many copies of a specific DNA segment. Using PCR, a single copy (or more) of a DNA sequence is exponentially amplified to generate thousands to millions of more copies of that particular DNA segment. PCR is now a common and often indispensable technique used in medical laboratory and clinical laboratory research for a broad variety of applications including biomedical research and criminal forensics.

PCR was developed in 1983 by Kary Mullis, who received a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1993 for his invention. The polymerase chain reaction has been elaborated in many ways since its introduction and is now commonly used for a wide variety of applications including genotyping, cloning, mutation detection, sequencing, microarrays, forensics, and paternity testing.

PCR has a number of advantages. It is fairly simple to understand and to use, and produces results rapidly. The technique is highly sensitive with the potential to produce millions to billions of copies of a specific product for sequencing, cloning, and analysis.

MQ/MG

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