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About The PCR Method

The Eye of the Donkey educational game, starting with an animated lecture, is based on the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which was awarded to the invention of the PCR method that made it possible to copy large amounts of fragments of DNA in a few hours.

Eye of the Donkey Game

- What do we use the PCR method for?
- Why is the PCR method useful in forensic science?

PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, to give it its full name, is a method by which a few fragments of DNA can be duplicated into millions in a couple of hours. This makes PCR a very useful method in forensic science, as it means that very small amounts of DNA found in blood or hair samples, could be enough to reveal a person's identity.

In this game a famous and priceless diamond known as the "Eye of the Donkey" has been stolen from a museum. Your mission will be to collect DNA material from the crime scene to prove whether the two men arrested are the thieves. In the forensic lab you want to copy the DNA fragments you've found using a PCR machine. But the problem is that it is broke and you have to perform the copying process without it ... The challenge in this game is to use the basic principles of the PCR method to copy the DNA in order to collect enough material to use as evidence.

For instructions on how to play the game, click on the HELP button found at the bottom of the game window.


The Eye of the Donkey educational game was produced by: Nobel Media.
Acknowledgments: Anna Bäckman, Forensic Biologist. National Laboratory of Forensic Science, Linköping.
First published: January 2004
Estimated play time: 25 min.
Sound: Yes
High score: No
Plug in requirements: Flash 6





To cite this page
MLA style: "The PCR Method - About". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 21 Oct 2019. <http://educationalgames.nobelprize.org/educational/chemistry/pcr/about.html>

About the educational games

The educational games are based on Nobel Prize awarded discoveries and were produced between 2001 and 2012. The games have not been updated since production (including potential scientific facts changes) and are provided here on an 'as is' basis by popular demand.

The games require Adobe Flash Player. Adobe Flash is an old technology with an end of life by 2020 and these games will then no longer work. Flash is disabled in many browsers and need to be activated in order to play the games.