The recent surge of interest in recombinant DNA research is understandable considering that biologists from all disciplines, using recently developed mo- lecular techniques, can now study with great precision the structure and regulation of specific genes. As a discipline, molecular biology is no longer a mere subspeciality of biology or biochemistry: it is the new biology. Current approaches to the outstanding problems in virtually all the traditional disci- plines in biology are now being explored using the recombinant DNA tech- nology. In this atmosphere of rapid progress, the role of information exchange and swift publication becomes quite crucial. Consequently, there has been an equally rapid proliferation of symposia volumes and review articles, apart from the explosion in popular science magazines and news media, which are always ready to simplify and sensationalize the implications of recent dis- coveries, often before the scientific community has had the opportunity to fully scrutinize the developments. Since many of the recent findings in this field have practical implications, quite often the symposia in molecular biology are sponsored by private industry and are of specialized interest and in any case quite expensive for students to participate in. Given that George Wash- ington University is a teaching institution, our aim in sponsoring these Annual Spring Symposia is to provide, at cost, a forum for students and experts to discuss the latest developments in selected areas of great significance in biology. Additionally, since the University is located in Washington, D. C.