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Molecular genetics is a field of biology that studies the structure and functions of genes at a molecular level, and their influence in determining the overall makeup of an organism. Over the years, there has been a shift in biomedical research of the study of diseases linked to organs, and the definition of diseases based on molecules and cells.

What is molecular genetics?

New technology has made it possible to isolate and sequence genes, to study their function and how they contribute to disease. This has enabled scientists to get extensive knowledge on the characteristics of many diseases and their molecular and cell biology. This knowledge has had significant implications for the development of more precise diagnoses and therapeutic approaches for diseases. Through the tools of molecular biology, molecular genetics relate the change in the structure and sequence of human genes to changes in protein changes and, ultimately, to health and the development of the disease.

Doctor examing patient's molecular genetics through microscope

How is it used?

Molecular genetics is rarely used as the first test for a less severe case of diseases whenever an easy, functional test is available. With this next-generation technology, modern personalized medicine is expected to evolve rapidly.

Molecular genetics testing

Molecular genetic testing identifies a unique scope of indicators which are different from traditional clinical laboratory testing. Molecular genetics experiments usually involve a combination of different techniques to isolate and analyze DNA or RNA from a specific gene. The testing approaches used may vary depending on the reason for testing, which might be diagnostic testing or carrier screening.

The type of patient samples collected for molecular genetic testing may also differ. The testing technique also depends on the nature of the genetic makeup of the disease being studied, the purpose of the test, and the condition of the specimen. Specific regulatory testing considerations are another aspect of these tests.

Importance of molecular genetics

  • Molecular genetics is an important tool as it helps link mutations to genetic conditions, which will, in turn, help to search for targeted treatments and cures for various genetic conditions.
  • This approach helps in the understanding of the dynamics of both infectious and non-infectious diseases and contributes to the manufacture of tropical medicine.
  • It helps in the development of new vaccines and other approaches to the control of diseases due to the application of cell and molecular biology to the study of human diseases.
  • It has led to the development of mathematics and computer technology, which has helped biologists and medical professionals to understand the human genetic makeup and the complex metabolic functions of cells, organs, and organisms as a whole.
  • Tropical medicine has highly benefited from the new technology that helped discover molecular genetics, especially with the demography of disease changes in both developed and developing countries.
  • The analysis of molecular genetic traits in animals and plants is leading to a better understanding of quantitative trait genetics. The genes and genetic markers that are being discovered can be employed to enhance the genetic improvement of breeding stock through marker-assisted selection.
  • Molecular biology contributes to expanding medical professionals’ biological understanding and helps them develop diagnosis, treatment, and disease prevention measures for each patient based on their unique genetic makeup.

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