Kary Banks Mullis (born December 28, 1944) is a Nobel Prize-winning American biochemist, author, and lecturer. In recognition of his improvement of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Michael Smith and earned the Japan Prize in the same year. The process was first described by Kjell Kleppe and 1968 Nobel laureate H. Gobind Khorana, and allows the amplification of specific DNA sequences. The improvements made by Mullis allowed PCR to become a central technique in biochemistry and molecular biology, described by The New York Times as "highly original and significant, virtually dividing biology into the two epochs of before P.C.R. and after P.C.R."
Since winning the Nobel Prize, Mullis has been criticized in The New York Times for promoting ideas in areas in which he has no expertise. He has promoted AIDS denialism, climate change denial and his belief in astrology.
Mullis was born in Lenoir, North Carolina, near the Blue Ridge Mountains, on December 28, 1944. His family had a background in farming in this rural area. As a child, Mullis recalls, he was interested in observing organisms in the countryside. He grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, where he attended Dreher High School...
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