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Kary Banks Mullis is a Nobel Prize-winning American biochemist, author, and lecturer. In recognition of his improvement of the polymerase chain reaction 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."