1. The advent of recombinant DNA technology, polymerase
chain reaction techniques, and completion of the human genome have
revolutionized the understanding of disease development and also
radically transformed the practice of medicine and surgery.
2. Genes govern cell activity in different cell types, which ultimately
leads to the health of the human organism. The cellular diversity
is controlled by the
and accomplished by
tight regulation of gene expression in a given cell at a given time.
3. Human diseases arise from improper changes in the genome. The
continuous understanding of how the genome functions will make it
possible to tailor medicine on an individual basis. The goal of
personalized genomic medicine is to attack the disease by choosing
personalized treatments that work with the individual’s
genomic profile. Personalized genomic medicine will undoubtedly
revolutionize the practice of modern medicine.
4. Improving the outlook for human diseases can only come from a
better understanding of the molecular signaling mechanisms that
cause these diseases and subsequent successful therapeutic regimens.
One of the goals of modern biology is to analyze the molecular structure
and gain a fuller understanding of how cells, tissues, organs, and
entire organisms function, both in a normal state and under pathologic
conditions. Significant progress has been made in molecular studies
of metabolism pathways, gene expression, cellular signaling, and
organ development in human beings. The advent of recombinant DNA
technology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques, and completion
of the Human Genome Project are positively affecting human society
by not only broadening our knowledge and understanding of disease
development but also by bringing about necessary changes in disease
Today’s practicing surgeons are becoming increasingly
aware that many modern surgical procedures rely on the information
gained through molecular research. Genomic information, such as
BRCA and RET proto-oncogene, is being used to help
direct prophylactic procedures to remove potentially harmful tissues
before they do damage to patients. Molecular engineering has led
to cancer-specific gene therapy that could serve in the near future
as a more effective adjunct to surgical debulking of tumors than
radiation or chemotherapy, so surgeons will benefit from a clear
introduction to how basic biochemical and biologic principles relate
to the developing area of molecular biology.
This chapter reviews the current information on modern molecular biology
for the surgical community. It is written with the intent of serving
two functions. The first is to introduce or update the readers about
the general concepts of molecular cell biology, which are essential
for comprehending the real power and potential of modern molecular
technology. The second aim is to inform the reader about the modern
molecular techniques that are commonly used for surgical research
and to provide a fundamental introduction on the background of how
these techniques are developed and applied to benefit patients.
of Molecular Research
The modern era of molecular ...