By Ben Butkus

Taiwanese researchers have developed a method of performing PCR using natural convection and a single isothermal heater, and have used the technique to amplify DNA from three different viral genomes with sensitivity comparable to that of existing PCR methods.

According to the scientists, the new method may be able to serve as the basis for extremely inexpensive and easy-to-use molecular diagnostic tests in developing nations since it eliminates the need for expensive and delicate thermal cyclers.

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