Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology Overview

Living organisms are made up of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. Cells which are an organism’s smallest structural and functioning unit are made up of ions which enable their functionality, molecules (lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates), and about 70% of water. Molecular biology is a science that studies the basis of cells and their interaction with one another. It is a combination of physics, biochemistry, chemistry and genetics.
Over the years, improvements in techniques used for experiments, availability of information and technological advancements in genetics have facilitated the rapid growth of molecular biology, making it more applicable across industries. Some techniques in the area include molecular cloning used in DNA sequencing; the Bradford Assay for measuring protein concentration; gel electrophoresis used in separating molecules; and Polymerase Chain Reaction used for DNA copying. The Polymerase Chain Reaction gave molecular biology its prominence from the late 20th Century till date. Rising trends as a result of the application of these techniques include molecular breeding of plants to produce superior varieties; and the application of nanotechnology in agriculture for the purpose of increasing crop yield. This is achieved through nano formulation of agrochemicals, nanodevices used in plant genetics, and nano sensors used for protecting plants against diseases. Others include phytoremediation, biofortification and food biotechnology.