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How to Become A Molecular Biologist

Molecular Biologist
Written by Godwin Ekpo

In order to comprehend how cells and their constituent molecules function, organize, and interact, molecular biologists study, plan, and carry out experiments on these systems. They frequently do studies on DNA sequencing, cloning, RNA function, and other aspects of cellular behavior.

A molecular biologist is an interesting and unique career. This article will show you all you need to know and how to become a molecular biologist.

Read: How to Get A Botany Degree and How Much it Pays

What is Molecular Biology?

A branch of science known as molecular biology investigates and analyses the molecular characteristics and operations of cells. Before they can effectively undertake research or academic activity in their discipline, molecular biologists must be knowledgeable in a variety of subjects and sciences.

All cell processes, which are exceedingly intricate and poorly understood, are thought to occur at the molecular level. This indicates that the complex interaction and collaboration of living molecules, which puzzles molecular biologists and drives them to learn the secrets of cells, is what makes life possible. A molecular biologist is interested in studying, comprehending, or imparting the molecular-level principles underlying cellular structure and function.

Responsibilities

The following duties are frequently performed by molecular biologists:

  • Designs, researches, and evaluates the building of DNA molecules
  • Builds molecular modeling and design using computer software and other molecular biology methods.
  • Maintains the laboratory’s quality assurance and safety requirements.
  • Prepares reagents, solutions, cultures, and stains.
  • Examines test results and data, draws conclusions, and then publishes those conclusions in reports and articles.

What do They do?

On a molecular level, molecular biologists investigate and examine the operations of cells. They unravel the intricate roles played by each part of the biological molecules. They research a variety of complicated substances, including DNA, RHA, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates.

They examine and construct intricate biological structures in state-of-the-art laboratories that are well-equipped with cutting-edge technology. Advanced computer software, lab centrifuges, infrared lasers, and microscopes are some of the tools used.

They look for and isolate particular patterns in biological materials as part of their studies. Then, in an effort to support their developed theories and hypotheses, they attempt to duplicate their findings in more trials. They make an effort to separate, clean, and then individually investigate a certain cell component.

Common Employers

Molecular biologists may carry out academic research or instruct at colleges or universities. They may also serve as consultants for government organizations, as well as for medical facilities, drug manufacturers, and hospitals.

Future Job Growth

The demand for medicines and research into chronic diseases will rise as people live longer and become older, which will result in a boom in the job market for this particular career.

Regular Work Hours

This job is full-time and requires 40 hours a week. They spend most of their time working in labs or research offices.

Molecular Biologist: How to Become One

Expertise in molecular biology involves a significant amount of effort, focus, and attention. Those who want to become molecular biologists need to be very intelligent, have good critical thinking skills, patience, discipline, and the drive to do potentially ground-breaking research.

Since success in research only comes after many attempts at trial and error, the capacity to deal with failure is another crucial trait. People who aspire to excel in molecular biology typically have a passion for life and for using their research or academic work to improve the lives of others. Excellent communication skills, the capacity to convey challenging molecular concepts in a way that will not frustrate the student, and a passion for instructing and mentoring are requirements for molecular biologists who work with students at universities.

Getting a bachelor’s degree in biology, molecular biology, or a closely related subject like biochemistry or biophysics is the first step in becoming a molecular biologist. Almost usually, post-graduate coursework is necessary. They involve earning a master’s or doctoral degree, conducting some kind of research, and attending conferences and meetings related to science.

Some molecular biologists advance even farther in their careers by carrying out post-doctoral research, which enables them to succeed and get respect from their peers. Understanding the fundamental principles of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and even computer technology is necessary for the study process, which is highly complex. However, one can successfully become an expert in molecular biology if one puts enough effort and motivation into it.

What Distinguishes Genetics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology

Molecular biology and the two closely related fields of biochemistry and genetics share many similarities. The molecular aspects of how organisms function are of interest to the three disciplines. Each, however, has a distinct area of focus and a range of applications.

Biochemistry

The focus of biochemistry frequently shifts away from proteins and toward other substances. It also emphasizes nucleic acids and the chemical reactions that take place when greater concentrations of a substance are present, like venoms. Additionally, a lot of techniques used in biochemistry are based on research in organic chemistry.

Genetics

Heritable features and how modifications to the genetic code impact an organism are the main topics of genetics. Due to its emphasis on heredity, genetics is a far more expansive field than molecular biology and is frequently best researched at the population level.

These three fields interact and affect one another. Particularly when it comes to the function of RNA, molecular biology and genetics have a lot in common. Like DNA, RNA can store information and carry out active tasks like a protein.

Methods for Molecular Biology Laboratories

Perhaps the reason molecular biology is so well-known is because of its unique set of scientific techniques. Molecular biologists heavily rely on:

  • Blotting
  • Chain reaction
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Molecular cloning
  • Polymerase

How Does it Feel to Work as a Molecular Biologist?

Molecular biologists frequently have academic positions and operate in laboratories. Although they hardly ever work for private businesses, they might be recruited by them to complete project-based work. Governmental organizations that create policies and rules that apply to biological processes also employ molecular biologists.

Salary of A Molecular Biologist

In the US, a molecular biologist can expect to make an average yearly pay of $82,530.

Conclusion

The significance of the vast and expanding science of molecular biology has not yet been completely appreciated. As molecular biology research develops and grows, many more improvements in ecology, medicine, and other fields will result.

About the author

Godwin Ekpo

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