The use in epi studies of techniques of molecular biology. Techniques such as DNA typing can be used to detect, identify and measure molecular structure which may be normal variant or damaged by disease or environment. Branch of medical science that focuses on the contribution of potential genetic and environmental risk factors, identified at the molecular level, to the etiology, distribution and prevention of disease within families and across populations. This field has emerged from the integration of molecular biology into traditional epidemiologic research. Molecular epidemiology improves our understanding of the pathogenesis of disease by identifying specific pathways, molecules and genes that influence the risk of developing disease.