The course addresses both the fundamental principles and techniques of molecular biology. Students gain an in-depth knowledge of nucleic acid structure, molecular genetics, and the biochemistry of transcription and protein synthesis. Other topics include how mechanisms of gene regulation play a role in retroviral pathogenesis, embryonic development, and the generation of immune diversity. Each lecture directly relates molecular biology to current laboratory techniques. The laboratory portion of the course represents a complete experimental project. A combination of experiments gives students a broad exposure to several important techniques in molecular biology, together with the direct experience of an intensive research project. Experiments include current approaches to mutation analysis, protein interaction assays, and recombinant cDNA cloning by PCR.