n00b guide to Molecular Biology

A primer on the blog series

When I tell relatives what major I’m taking up, I often get puzzled stares and the same confused questions. They immediately assume that I’m a masochistic pre-med major or that I work with some crazy stem cell shit. Of course, I laugh with them and play along with their silly jokes but I often get the urge to tell them all about the interesting things we study.

However, the difficult part in getting people to understand what we do is the large information gap that exists. I can’t explain how the dynamics of gene regulation work when they don’t even know what a gene actually is. But even if the concepts we study might seem completely foreign, I still want people to appreciate how amazing our cellular machinery is. I want people to know more about why disease progress the way they do or why cancer is such a difficult disease to treat. I want people to understand why I’m excited about my major even when the workload is insane at best.

It’s an arduous task but I do not believe it is impossible. So in my next few blog entries, I’ll *attempt* to give the uninitiated a taste of some molecular biology concepts that might appeal to the general public. For my first entry, I’ll introduce microRNAs and explain how they are important in the study of gene expression regulation and cancer diagnosis.


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