How a 1960s discovery in Yellowstone made millions of COVID-19 PCR tests possible

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How a 1960s discovery in Yellowstone made millions of COVID-19 PCR tests possible
Article | USA Today, February 21, 2021
Summary

Like so many great scientific discoveries, Tom Brock started with basic research. Research that would go on to revolutionize the field of biology and pave the road to the development of the gold-standard PCR tests used to fight a pandemic nearly 50 years later. His journey started in Yellowstone National Park where he wanted to evaluate life at high temperatures. Brock's discovery of the Thermus aquaticus bacteria went on to deliver the key ingredient in polymerase chain reactions. In the 1980s, biochemist Kary Mullis used the enzyme from Thermus aquaticus, called Taq polymerase, to develop the PCR technique used today to diagnose diseases - including the virus that causes COVID-19.

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