The thermal cycler (also known as a thermocycler, polymerase chain reaction [PCR] machine, or DNA amplifier) is a laboratory apparatus used for PCR analysis, or the rapid replication of a particular DNA sequence. The device has a thermal block with holes where tubes with the PCR mixtures can be inserted. The cycler then raises and lowers the temperature of the block in discrete, preprogrammed steps in order to facilitate the mass replication.
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Kool-Aid package, 1951
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