Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Principles of Molecular Biology

What kind of stuff would you study if you decided that after your high school you are going to apply for studies in Biology or Organic Chemistry that also include Molecular Biology and would look at one of the Colleges and Universities in the San Fransisco Bay Area?

Well, if you were accepted as a student and if your teacher happens to be Bob Bruner here is an outline of the kind of materials for your first year of introductory classes that would teach you principles of Molecular Biology:

Bob is also providing frequently updated information to his classes and prospective students in

All these pages seem to be rich in content and provide a valuable collection of sources from basic stuff to plenty of references to current literature and to Internet  resources.

Materials here are from my course, Principles of Molecular Biology, Fall 2001. I have only slightly updated these materials since that semester; I have tried to keep Internet links and references to basic books in the field current. Much of the information on core molecular biology remains sound, and many of these materials should still be useful to students taking basic molecular biology courses.
Bob Bruner

Please, note that these are purely academic pages and the author has nothing whatsoever to do with my blogs. This is just a reference to one of the many available Web resources and a useful index created by an expert in the field, Bob Bruner, that can be very helpful for those seriously interested in the scientific field of Moleculary Biology.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Molecular Biology

Molecular biology is the branch of biology that deals with the molecular basis of biological activity.

This field overlaps with other areas of biology and chemistry, particularly genetics and biochemistry.

Molecular biology chiefly concerns itself with understanding the interactions between the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between the different types of DNA, RNA and protein biosynthesis as well as learning how these interactions are regulated.

Writing in Nature in 1961, William Astbury described molecular biology as
not so much a technique as an approach, an approach from the viewpoint of the so-called basic sciences with the leading idea of searching below the large-scale manifestations of classical biology for the corresponding molecular plan. It is concerned particularly with the forms of biological molecules and [...] is predominantly three-dimensional and structural—which does not mean, however, that it is merely a refinement of morphology. It must at the same time inquire into genesis and function.
wikipedia introduction

The following list borrowed from "What is Molecular Biology?" page gives us laymen some idea of the kind of research that is currently going on in the field:

Recent Molecular Biology News

Glorify God

Saint Paul is in no way apologetic when he writes to people living in the centre of classical civilization, Rome.

He is not shamed of Gospel, the message about Jesus Christ he is preaching - and indeed, the message changed Rome, the eternal city, forever and it became what it is today: the centre of Christianity.

He is not shamed of God and says that what can be known about God is manifest for He Himself has shown it to the humans.

What everyone can learn about God, what is so obvious that those who do not worship have nothing to defend themselves?

"For from the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."
Romans 1:20

Democritus and atomic theory
Democritus (Greek: Δημόκριτος, Dēmokritos, "chosen of the people") (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera, Thrace, Greece. He was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos.

Random chance is fundamental principle in the amazing natural philosophy developed by Leucippus and Democritus simply by deep thinking and without any experimentally gained knowledge of the structure of matter. Those undivided things, atoms, run around in some space hitting each other randomly and thus creating lumps that give matter all its properties, such as hardness or softness, colour or taste. 

We might call those "lumps" molecules.

Atom - manifest work of God
Modern nuclear sciences have demonstrated that while Democritus had it right in principle - and this is no small feat for a 4th century BC thinker - there is nothing random in the inner structure of atoms and their nuclei nor in the way molecules are built.

Exact mathematics so bizarre that new ways of thinking with colours had to be developed to deal with it rule the orbits and numbers of electrons around the positive nucleus and the strong and weak and other forces inside the nucleus.

If it can be figured out by thinking it is quite obvious that it may have been made by someone good in mathematics and deep thinking.

Those who deny this have no excuse for not worshipping Him.

Molecular biology
The same obvious wisdom of God is visible in molecular biology.


This is not apologetics or a vain attempt to prove that God exists as shown in the workings of living things on molecular level!

Far from that.

This is just a note in the spirit of Saint Paul that those who deny the divine wisdom in molecular biology have no excuse for not worshipping Him.

No shortcuts to knowledge
Jewish, Christian or Moslem believers in the One God have no shortcut to knowledge because of their faith. Pagan Leupiccus and Democritus showed such an ability of gaining knowledge by thinking that it is almost unparalleled among the humans.

The difference is still important - a believer praises Lord for His works and does not allow anything take His place as some sort of anonymous projection of God into the properties of matter, atoms, molecules and life.

For example, the materialistic atheism of Democritus and his students.

Glorify God!

For when they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Romans 1:21
The purpose of this blog is to do the opposite from the foolish Romans: to glorify God and to be thankful!

As a non-professional I am still curious about life and fascinated by the enormous advances taken in life sciences. This blog is a personal journey to selected subjects and you, the reader, are invited to join me in prayers in this journey to Molecular Biology; feel free to argue for or against the facts and ideas presented here to enrich the discussion on God's wonders!

Sola Dei Gloria!

That which may be known of God is manifest

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written: "The just shall live by faith."
For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shown it unto them.
For from the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
For when they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds and fourfooted beasts and creeping things.
Romans 1:16-23 KJ21