Molecular genetics

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Molecular Genetics

Molecular genetics (pronunciation: /məˈlɛkjʊlər dʒɪˈnɛtɪks/) is a sub-field of biology that studies the structure and function of genes at a molecular level. The field studies how the genes are transferred from generation to generation.


The term "molecular genetics" comes from the term "molecule", which is from the Latin "molecula" meaning 'small mass', and "genetics", which is from the Greek "genetikos" meaning 'genitive' and "genesis" meaning 'origin'.

Related Terms

  • DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.
  • RNA: Ribonucleic acid, a nucleic acid present in all living cells. Its principal role is to act as a messenger carrying instructions from DNA for controlling the synthesis of proteins.
  • Genome: The complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism.
  • Chromosome: A thread-like structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes.
  • Gene Expression: The process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a functional gene product.
  • Mutation: The changing of the structure of a gene, resulting in a variant form that may be transmitted to subsequent generations.
  • Genetic Code: The nucleotide triplets of DNA and RNA molecules that carry genetic information in living cells.

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