When Kary Mullis, Ph.D., first conceptualized the idea of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 1983 he immediately knew the technology would revolutionize life sciences research. The Nobel Foundation recognized the impact of the technique on biotechnology and medicine by awarding Dr. Mullis the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993.
In this week's podcast, Dr. Mullis talks about how as a child the first inklings of scientific curiosity came to him on the back porch of his home, why he was so certain PCR would transform life science R&D even though some of his contemporaries seemed unimpressed, the limitations of today's approaches to carrying out scientific studies, and his current research project.
For a close look behind the technology of PCR and at the man who invented it, be sure to listen then return to the blog to give your thoughts on the following question:
Do you think that scientists tend to become too narrowly focused on their own areas of research and expertise? Since so many scientific discoveries take place almost serendipitously, can't a case be made that a broader approach to research would lead to more interesting discoveries?