Molecular Biology


The discovery of the structure of the DNA in 1953 had a major impact on every field of biological research. Cloning techniques allowed the characterization of developmental mutants at the molecular level. Many signal transduction pathways and DNA-binding motifs were discovered in Drosophila, which later turned out to be astonishingly conserved between flies and other species. A first example, the homeobox, was first discovered in flies, in the labs of Walter J. Gehring and Matthew P. Scott.

Molecular biology was also the prerequisite to prove many models of pattern formation, which were formulated earlier. The bicoid protein was the first gene product that was shown to act as a morphogen, to name just one example.

Meanwhile the complete genomic sequence as well as many full length cDNA sequences are available (see: BDGP).