Impact of Molecular Genetics

The science of molecular genetics has revolutionized the way in which we live our lives. A wide variety of applications have been developed over the last half century since Watson and Crick first proposed that DNA, the genetic material of all organisms, is a double helix. For example, molecular cloning techniques developed during the 1970s allow researchers to produce many copies of specific genes and study the functions of each. This is especially useful when studying genetically inherited diseases such as cancer, and also has led to the birth of biotechnology. The polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, is another method by which a very large number of copies of a particular DNA sequence may be produced. PCR amplification of DNA can be accomplished without the use of cloning, and has had not only a great impact on molecular genetics, but also on medicine, diagnostics, and even forensics. DNA fingerprinting is a useful aid for determining probability of guilt among criminal suspects. Since each person’s DNA produces a unique pattern when cut into fragments during the genetic fingerprinting process, and identification by this method is highly reliable. Genetic enhancement is an application of molecular genetics that aims to create larger and better plants and animals for human use and consumption. Another relatively new use of molecular genetics is that of animal cloning. Through this process it is now possible to create replicas of animals such as sheep by artificial laboratory methods. These new techniques of molecular genetics advance the frontiers of science but may also open many ethical debates. It is important as a student to understand how the field can impact society and help to steer a course for the benefit of mankind.

Question 1: When did the era of molecular technology begin?
  1. In the 1500s.
  2. In the 1800s.
  3. In the 2000s.
  4. In the 1970s.


Answer 1 Answer – (d) In the 1970’s

Question 2: Molecular cloning techniques allow researchers to produce _____________ and study _____________.
  1. clones, their molecules
  2. individual genes, their nucleotides
  3. many copies of specific genes, the functions of each
  4. radioactivity, signals


Answer 2 Answer – (c) many copies of specific genes; the functions of each

Question 3: Molecular biology techniques are useful for________________________.
  1. building stronger bridges
  2. microscopy
  3. translation
  4. comprehending genetically inherited diseases such as cancer


Answer 3 Answer – (d) comprehending genetically inherited diseases such as cancer

Question 4: 3 molecular techniques are: _____________, _____________, and _____________.
  1. PCR, genetic enhancement, and animal cloning
  2. PCR, DNA and RNA
  3. sterilization, cloning
  4. genetically engineering diseases such as cancer, staining, and PCR


Answer 4 Answer – (a) PCR, genetic enhancement, and animal cloning

Question 5: What does the acronym PCR stand for?
  1. Preparation Cloning Reaction
  2. Primer Chain RNA
  3. Primary Cloning Repetition
  4. Polymerase Chain Reaction


Answer 5 Answer – (d) Polymerase Chain Reaction

Question 6: How is PCR used in medicine, diagnostics, and forensics?
  1. As a signal.
  2. As a stain.
  3. For increasing the number of copies of a particular DNA sequence.
  4. For reacting with particular mRNA sequences.


Answer 6 Answer – (c) For increasing the number of copies of a particular DNA sequence.

Question 7: What is the main purpose of genetic enhancement?
  1. To make cells more visible under the microscope.
  2. To create larger and better plants and animals for human use and consumption.
  3. To generate genes that can be easily detected.
  4. For reacting with particular stains.


Answer 7 Answer – (b) To create larger and better plants and animals for human use and consumption.

Question 8: What is the main purpose of animal cloning?
  1. To make science more interesting to the general public.
  2. To test the microbiome.
  3. To create replicas of animals by artificial laboratory methods.
  4. To make animals that are more domesticated.


Answer 8 Answer – (c) To create replicas of animals such as sheep by artificial laboratory methods.