molecular biology


: a branch of biology dealing with the ultimate physicochemical organization of living matter and especially with the molecular basis of inheritance and protein synthesis
molecular biologist noun

Examples of molecular biology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Before coming to science writing and journalism, Lee earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology at Princeton University and then worked as a data engineer for several years in the Bay Area. Jack Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 May 2023 For its assessment, the department drew on the expertise of a team assembled from the U.S. national laboratory complex, which employs tens of thousands of scientists representing many technical specialties, from physics and data analysis to genomics and molecular biology. Shane Harris, Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2023 Seasoned Nobel prognosticators will point out that the medicine prize often cycles between super-basic molecular biology and inventions that actually cure people. Megan Molteni and Elaine Chen, STAT, 30 Sep. 2023 Inside scientific circles, however, binomial nomenclature still rules the day, lending concision and clarity to fields ranging from molecular biology to evolutionary ecology. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 14 Aug. 2023 During that early era of molecular biology, people were identifying new genes and peptides all the time. Megan Molteni and Elaine Chen, STAT, 30 Sep. 2023 Despite its seeming novelty, PDE was discovered in the early days of molecular biology, long before researchers even knew that DNA is life’s genetic material. Dan Samorodnitsky, Quanta Magazine, 26 Sep. 2023 The researchers were only able to see the thin and delicate fourth membrane, which measures only a few cells in thickness and is tight enough to separate clean and dirty CSF, thanks to recent advancements in neuro-imaging and molecular biology. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 9 Jan. 2023 Urban coyotes and smog, vegetarian piranha, mass extinction, cloning, molecular biology, the history of nutmeg, the upside of mosquitoes — Quammen has brought a rare patience and consistent informality to science writing. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 15 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'molecular biology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of molecular biology was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near molecular biology

Cite this Entry

“Molecular biology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

molecular biology

: a branch of biology that investigates the structure and function of usually large molecules (as DNA and proteins) of living matter in order to understand their role in biological processes (as inheritance and cell function)

Medical Definition

molecular biology

: a branch of biology dealing with the study and understanding of biological activity and processes at the molecular level and especially the molecular basis of gene function and protein synthesis
Molecular biology experiments proved that small pieces of DNA did sometimes move within or between chromosomes, thereby triggering changes in gene expression.John Rennie, Scientific American
The test is based on several recent advances in molecular biology, including the new insight that cells slip into the uncontrolled growth known as cancer through defects in specific enzymes that monitor and control division.Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times

More from Merriam-Webster on molecular biology

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