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Molecular biology involves studying life at the molecular level. The characteristics of the molecules that make up a living organism are analyzed in depth to understand their structure and function. This information on the biomolecules is used to explain the different characteristics of the organism such as growth, reproduction, metabolism, color, and weight. Molecular biology is interrelated with other branches of biology, particularly biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics.

The Central Dogma

Molecular biology is based on the principle of Central Dogma. This principle explains that proteins control all the activities of the cell and that they are made based on the instructions provided by the deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA). DNA molecules are, therefore, the basis for all the functions and characteristics of a living organism.

They provide a genetic code, which is written on the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). The mRNA takes the code to the ribosomes where proteins are produced. By following this code, another RNA known as the transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA) brings each of the required amino acids to the ribosomes for protein production. The Central Dogma, therefore, describes transcription and translation, which is the two-step process through which proteins are produced. It is expressed as follows:

The Central Dogma
The Central Dogma showing the two-step process through which proteins are produced in molecular biology

Why study molecular biology?

It is important to understand the molecules that makeup living things because they influence vital life processes such as metabolism, growth and reproduction. This study enables us to explain the functions of a cell in chemical terms. For example, in the production of hormones, different chemical reactions take place involving different molecules. Each of these molecules, from the DNA that controls the process to the final product, should be studied in detail.

Molecular biology techniques

Molecular biology techniques have been at the forefront of modern-day scientific research, especially in biological studies. These methods of molecular biology include:

Gel electrophoresis:

This is a method separates biomolecules by using electric current. The samples to be separated are put on a gel, which is placed in an electric field. The molecules, which are negatively charged, migrate towards the positive electrode. The distance travelled by the molecules through the gel is determined by their sizes. Small molecules cover longer distances on the gel while the larger molecules cover shorter distances. The different molecules in the sample are therefore separated based on their size.


After electrophoresis is carried out, the biomolecules are identified using the technique of blotting. There are four blotting methods used: Southern blotting, Northern blotting, Eastern blotting, and Western blotting.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR):

This technique amplifies DNA isolated from a sample. The quantity of DNA acquired from samples is usually in very small amounts. To ensure that the same DNA can be used in many experiments, it is amplified to get sufficient amounts.


This involves introducing a new gene into another organism thus enabling a specific protein of interest to be expressed. This is useful when one wants to produce and harvest a specific beneficial product, such as insulin, in large amounts.

Relationship between Molecular Biology and other fields of study


Molecular biology is closely linked with biochemistry. These two fields share a lot of knowledge because both study the chemical reactions that takes place in a cell involving biomolecules. Biochemistry, however, tends to focus more on the chemistry that is involved in the activity of biomolecules. This knowledge of the chemistry of biomolecules is applied in molecular biology to understand the vital processes that take place in living organisms.

Cell biology

The cell is the basis of life and therefore it contains all the components that enable a living organism to function. The knowledge of the cell is therefore needed in studying the biomolecules that it contains. DNA molecules, for instance, are vital biomolecules that every living organism requires to function. These molecules are found in the nucleus of a cell.


Genetics is a broad field of study that analyzes the effects of genes on living organisms. The genetics of an organism determines its characteristics and function. The genetic information is contained in the DNA, which is the main molecule that is studied in molecular biology. A deep understanding of the genes of an organism is essential in determining how the cells work.

Importance of molecular biology

Studies of biomolecules have been very beneficial to the field of medicine. A new approach known as molecular medicine has been developed in which treatments are being developed based on the knowledge of the molecules in the cell.

The function of these molecules is used to diagnose diseases and target drugs. Molecular biologists are therefore very important scientists whose knowledge can be useful in making significant discoveries. The knowledge of molecular biology techniques is valuable and applicable across many fields. In case you experience any challenges in this study, you can seek biology help from qualified experts who are always ready to assist you improve your grade.