I was looking for informative videos about PCR for a microteaching session, and came across this outtake from CSI, where DNA isolation and PCR takes about a minute! (In reality, just the PCR step alone would take about 2-3 hours, not counting the preparation time needed to extract DNA from samples). Comments about PCR on CSI on this YouTube video say “I can barely thaw the Taq buffer that fast!” and “it takes at least 2 hours to extract DNA from Buccal swabs. (…) If this could happen in reality I would finish my research in a year or less.”
Believe me, this does not take 1 minute. A non-science equivalent would be a situation in which someone drives from Toronto to New York in one minute. Or from Amsterdam to Zurich in one minute. Or from your local town to one that is about 6-8 hours away, in one minute. You’d never believe that if you saw it on TV in one shot. What’s wrong with a minor cut to show a progression of time?
The short clip also includes one of my favourite CSI pet peeves: the results come straight from the printer! No interpretation, no computer screen – just a page with exactly the answer to the question you were looking for.
PCR on CSI is only one of my many CSI pet peeves.
(PCR explained – note the mention of “a few hours” at the bottom of the page. This does not include DNA isolation from the sample.)