Windows Into Wonderland
TAnimal hair caught on a twig.
TV Guide showing the cast of characters back next
remote control

Where the Bison Roam

Act 1,  Scene 4,  Page 40 of 47

Inspector (pressing it)
But how can you be 100 percent certain?

We couldn’t be. That’s why we decided to send samples of Rosie’s hair for comparison with that of the dead bison using DNA analysis. As you are probably aware, DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is what establishes the specific physical traits of an individual person or animal.

Twenty years ago the study of DNA was barely possible. Things we take for granted, such as DNA fingerprinting to identify criminals and DNA medical diagnoses, were considered science fiction. But all that changed with the invention of the polymerase chain reaction or PCR in 1985. PCR is an artificial way to do something that living things do every day—replicate DNA.

It’s somehow fitting that one of Yellowstone’s bison will now be identified using a discovery from one of Yellowstone’s hot springs.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)—the complex chemical that establishes genetic traits
polymerase chain reactionan artificial way to duplicate DNA

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