Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Andrea. Andrea Wonders, “what is molecular biology” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Andrea!
Do you like to think about the future? With today's advanced technology, it often seems like the sky's the limit when it comes to what we can achieve in the future. Flying cars? Sure! Self-driving cars? Why not? A human colony on Mars? Sign me up!
If you look carefully at the world around you, though, you'll realize that in many ways the future is already here. Scientists have cloned a sheep. They've also created genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) that produce healthier, pest-resistant crops that produce greater yields than ever before.
If you've ever taken a biology class, you know that biologists study life. Life is a big subject, though. There are many different types of life and all sorts of different aspects of life that can be studied.
As their name clearly states, molecular biologists study life on a molecular level. They explore inside the cells that compose living things to determine what they're made of and how those things, such as organelles, DNA, RNA, proteins, etc., function to give living things the characteristics they possess.
Today, many molecular biologists concentrate on genes and how genetic information gets encoded in molecules of DNA. They seek to understand how changes to DNA can cause diseases or how manipulation of DNA can improve characteristics of species.
Molecular biologists can find work in many forms for many types of organizations. For example, you may find molecular biologists who are teachers, researchers, scientific advisers, and technicians. They may be employed by private corporations, universities and colleges, or even governmental agencies.
Most molecular biologists will do a lot of their work in research laboratories. However, the exact kind of work they do can vary widely. Some molecular biologists might be working on curing diseases while others try to improve agricultural crops or reduce pollution in the environment.
If you're interested in becoming a molecular biologist one day, then you'll definitely need to go to college to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a life science, such as microbiology, genetics, or biochemistry. Some schools even offer specialized concentrations in molecular biology.
Preparation for a career in molecular biology begins in high school, where you'll want to take and excel in classes like biology, chemistry, physics, and math. Once you get to college, you'll experience more intense course work in areas such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry, math, and computer science.