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Posts tagged ‘molecular pathology’

Molecular pathology – what’s that all about then?

Today we announced that, along with the EPSRC, we’re putting £16m into six molecular pathology ‘nodes’ across the country. But you’re not alone if you’re wondering exactly what molecular pathology – or a molecular pathology node – is. Here MRC Programme Manager Dr Jonathan Pearce explains that the aim is to get new diagnostics into the NHS so that we can better spot and treat disease.

Molecular pathology seeks to describe and understand disease at the level of macromolecules (Image:  ynse on Flickr under  CC BY-SA 2.0)

Molecular pathology seeks to describe and understand disease at the level of macromolecules (Image: ynse on Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pathology… Isn’t that doing autopsies?

Forensic pathology is just one part of pathology. Pathology actually means the study of disease, and most pathologists spend their time analysing clinical samples such as blood, urine and tissue to either diagnose disease or to understand how diseases develop and progress.

So, what exactly do you mean by molecular pathology?

Historically, pathology has sought to understand disease by looking for differences at the level of tissues and cells.

Molecular pathology is different in that it seeks to describe and understand disease at the level of macromolecules (for example DNA, RNA and protein) and in some cases at an even smaller scale. Read more