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Polymerase chain reaction: replication errors and reliability of gene diagnosis.

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  • Medicine


The impact of replication errors on the reliability of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) data is studied theoretically. Practical applications of our results to RFLP analysis and oligonucleotide probing confirm that for practical purposes replication errors can be neglected if a large number of starting templates (e.g. 100,000) is being used. For single locus analysis in single cells, however, the probability of false diagnosis due to such errors is of the order of 1 percent.

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