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Prototype polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Europe, 1980-1989

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The nickname of this machine is ‘Baby Blue’. The Baby Blue prototype was devised in 1986 to replicate DNA from a tiny sample. Samples would be used to study HIV and genetics. The double helix structure was separated by heating each strand. A mating strand was then created with the help of a special enzyme which can stand high temperatures, forming new double helixes. This process was repeated 25-35 times. This is the first model which combines the software controlling the process with the heating and cooling block in one machine.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: genetics

No description.

Glossary: DNA

DNA stores the information, or blueprints, of every cell and is located in the genes. It is made up of two strands which form a double helix that is linked by hydrogen bonds. It was first described in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.

Glossary: HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that weakens vital cells in the immune system, and leads to AIDS. There are two strands: HIV-1, which leads to immunity suppression; and HIV-2, which is not as potent and is only common in West Africa. HIV is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids.

Glossary: bioengineering

The development of artificial replacement limbs, organs and tissues. It also refers to the use of plants in controlling erosion and in landscape restoration.

Glossary: prototype - object genre

Original form of an object, which is used as an example. Whenever a new design for a building or machine is being developed, a prototype will be made. The prototype is often a smaller version of the final product.