Mullis, Kary Banks

Mullis, Kary Banks, 1944–, American biochemist, b. Lenoir, N.C., Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1972. Mullis was a researcher with Cetus Corp., Emeryville, Calif., from 1979 to 1986 and with Xytronyx, Inc., San Diego, Calif., from 1986 to 1987. Since 1987, he has been a consultant and lecturer. In 1993 Mullis was a corecipient, with Michael Smith , of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his invention of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR enables strands of DNA to be rapidly copied with simple tools, including a test tube, some reagents, and a heat source. PCR is used in a range of applications, from diagnosing disease and DNA fingerprinting to characterizing the genetic makeup of extinct animal species.

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