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What do you know?

Once you've read these pages thoroughly and carried out the activities, try these questions to test what you know. Click the button at the bottom of the page to get your score, and to see the correct response to any question you got wrong.

Question 1
What do the initials PCR stand for?
a) polymerised chain reading
b) polymerase chain reaction
c) polymer counting reaction
d) polymerase chain reading

Question 2
Who invented PCR?
a) Francis Crick
b) James Watson
c) Charles Darwin
d) Kary B Mullis

Question 3
For what specific purpose is PCR used?
a) to amplify DNA
b) to magnify DNA
c) to analyse DNA
d) to sequence DNA

Question 4
Which of the following best describes the mixture placed in a PCR vial at the beginning of the PCR procedure?
a) the original DNA sample, DNA polymerase, fluorescent-tagged bases and buffer solution
b) the original DNA sample, endonucleases, the four nucleotide bases and primers
c) the original DNA sample, DNA polymerase, the four nucleotide bases and primers
d) the original DNA sample, DNA polymerase, adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine

Question 5
The first stage of the PCR process is carried out at 90-95oC for 30 seconds. What happens to the DNA at this temperature?
a) the DNA strands separate
b) the primers bind to the single DNA strands
c) DNA polymerase adds bases to the primer segments to build up complimentary strands of DNA
d) the PCR process repeats itself

Question 6
What is the optimum temperature for the enzyme DNA polymerase used in the PCR process?
a) 40oC
b) 55oC
c) 75oC
d) 90oC

Question 7
The three main stages of the PCR process are usually repeated around 30 times over several hours. Approximately how many copies of the original DNA molecule are made during that time?
a) 100 000
b) 1 000 000
c) 10 000 000
d) 1 000 000 000

Question 8
The development of PCR has had a major impact on a number of different areas. It has led to some major developments in medicine and forensic science, some of which are still in the early stages. Which of the following technologies does NOT rely on the PCR reaction?
a) detecting infective organisms using DNA
b) amplifying tiny fragments of DNA for analysis in the detection of crime
c) identifying cancerous changes in cells before the cancer has grown and become incurable
d) DNA fingerprinting

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