Tools and Techniques of Molecular Biology
Molecular biology as a discipline was defined with the convergence of biochemical and genetic techniques. Technologies that enabled manipulation of genetic material and introduce it into cells- genetic engineering and recombinant DNA. This is such seminal technology that just realizing it could be done and then doing it in a test tube for the first time earned Paul berg a half-share in the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (the other half was shared by Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger for studies that enabled efficient DNA sequencing). Molecular Biology is an experimental science, and a central element to the understanding of molecular biology is an appreciation of the approaches taken to yield the information from which concepts and principles are deduced. All aspects of biological research that investigate cellular mechanisms will employ or utilize various molecular biology tools.
In this unit, we will explore some commonly used techniques, learn the basics of recombinant DNA technology, commonly referred to as DNA cloning. We will also dive into newer genome-wide technologies that allow scientists to study gene expression on a larger scale and ways to edit the genome with unprecedented precision using CRISPR.