Despite its prominence, the field of molecular biology is a “young” area of science. Originating in the 1930s and 40s, it really began to gain momentum in the 1950s and 60s. In 1953, through the work of Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, James Watson and Francis Crick, we gained knowledge of the structure of the DNA double helix. We really were ‘zooming’ right in to cells and observing things at a molecular level. Technology developed over the years and methods to analyse this nucleic acid material was optimised, e.g. Southern Blotting, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing and DNA microarrays. Understanding the genetic processes that occur in the cell has led to advances in the field of molecular biology. A good example would be the identification of a reverse-transcribing enzyme in some viruses leading to the isolation of the enzyme for use in a technique known as reverse-transcription PCR, which allows us to determine if a particular gene is on/off. All in all, molecular biology is an area used in every aspect of science these days. For example, recombinant DNA technology has become the foundation for the biopharmaceutical industry. It is a field of science that is critical to your development as a scientist. So I hope you enjoy this exciting and dynamic module.
Some textbooks I would advise you to locate in the library and utilise in your research and study would be the following:
- Biochemistry: Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko Lubert Stryer
- Molecular Cell Biology: Harvey Lodish, Arnold Berk, Chris A. Kaiser, Monty Krieger, Matthew P. Scott, Anthony Bretscher, Hidde Ploegh, Paul Matsudaira
- Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry: David L. Nelson, Michael M. Cox
- Biochemistry: Mary K. Campbell, Shawn O. Farrell
However, please be aware that DkIT has numerous eBooks available online – click on the ‘Student Resources’ tab and go to the eBrary to log in to gain access!
From the beginning of your studies in any class, you are in control of some extremely important aspects of your learning experience – your attendance and engagement in class! So working hard at these aspects can really help you in understanding any subject.
As an enrolled student in my classes, you will have access to all class notes via this site. You will also have access to any animation/video links used in the lecture series. In addition, you will be provided with formative assessment information that will assist you in your subject understanding experience. In addition, you will be able to use this site to keep up-to-date with current breakthroughs in the field of science in addition to being able to obtain career tips and resource access.