Molecular biology is the scientific discipline that studies the vital processes, structure and functions of living beings at the level of their molecular structure. The history of molecular biology begins in 1953 with the discovery of nucleic acids by molecular biologists James Watson (1928) and Francis Crick (1916 – 2004), which presented the three-dimensional shape of the genetic material.
Molecular biology is the study focused on the structure of molecules and their functions, mainly of genetic material (DNA and RNA), as well as of the genetic characteristics transmitted from generation to generation, molecular patterns and protein synthesis and interaction that occurs between DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).
Thus, this area of study covers a large part of other disciplines such as chemistry, biology and, above all, genetics and biochemistry. Genetics in conjunction with molecular biology studies the structure and functioning of genes and the regulation of enzymes and other proteins, biochemistry studies the composition of enzymes, etc.
Molecular Biology Techniques
Some of the techniques that are part of the molecular biology studies are:
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): is a technique used to duplicate DNA filaments and analyze mutations.
- Gel electrophoresis: that method is used to separate DNA and RNA
- Southern Blot: technique that is carried out by means of autoradiography or autofluorescence to determine the molecular mass and verify the DNA filament.
- Northern Blot: this technique allows the analysis of RNA message information, responsible for sending DNA information to the synthesis of proteins in cells.
- Western Blot: This method is used to analyze proteins and mix the principles of the two previous techniques mentioned.
Molecular and cellular biology
Cellular biology, also known as cell biochemistry and cytology, is a related discipline of molecular biology that is responsible for studying the biological phenomena that arise in cells, such as their properties, life cycle and the way in which they interact with their environment .