Born 28 Dec 1944.
Kary Banks Mullis is an American biochemist who invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 1983 and shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with Michael Smith). PCR technology is simple and can make billions of copies of a particular DNA stretch in a matter of hours. It is a powerful tool in the medical diagnosis of bacterial or viral infections because it can identify pathogens using very small samples of genetic material. PCR is of value in genetics and forensics. With its use, hereditary disorders can be identified from DNA samples. PCR can provide sufficient DNA to identify parents, family members, suspects, corpses, anthropological or ancient fossil debris, with very little trace of tissue. PCR is also a basic tool for gene sequencing.