.. the control and initiative of the team leader, and tend to be tightly coupled to the heath-care responsibilities of the group. In addition to carrying out research, the M.D. team members may also spend considerable time on medical care and clinical services. (12) As exciting as the field is, only those who truly dedicated should chose to become a geneticist. Geneticists often work long hours, researching their project.
However, the working conditions are often laid back and casual due to their involvement with chemicals. The environment is usually comfortable and relaxing for best performance from the researchers and scientists. (Sailes) Pasteur, a world-renowned French chemist and biologist, that founded the science of microbiology said, “chance favors the prepared mind.” In order to be prepared you must go to school and take specific courses to become a geneticist. A geneticist must be prepared for every possible situation that may arise in their field. During their high school years, a geneticist should take biology, chemistry, physics, and advanced mathematics. Once in college, a geneticist should take courses in all the sciences to solidify their understanding of their basic concepts.
Specialization in genetics at the undergraduate level is unusual; it is more common to major in biology or biochemistry. Chemistry and Biology are stressed in different fields for the maximum amount of knowledge. Two or three years of study are recommended for a Masters degree. Except for entry-level salary; $35,000 to $50,000 and benefits, a Masters degree does not generally broaden the nature of laboratory job opportunities, in order to do truly independent research a Ph.D. or an M.D. is required.
MDs generally consist of four years of classes and clinical experience beyond the bachelors degree. A five-year study is needed after a Bachelor or Masters degree to obtain a Ph.D. (C.O. in G. 14) A person with a Ph.D.
in any genetic field on average has a starting salary of $48,796 to $89,142 plus benefits. The education needed is based on a long and tiresome process. Along with the studying, most students take part in an apprenticeship ranging from $12,000 to $30,000 to help pay for college, and also acquire needed lab experience. A bio-organic chemist for example, must have at least a year of organic laboratory experience and at least one year of organic synthesis course work. A Bachelors of Science in Chemistry is mandatory for most genetic positions. Geneticist use roughly 95% of the day applying there academically acquired knowledge.
This also includes the sciences that they took during their high school years. (Sailes) For that reason it is important that geneticists understand their schooling. Courtney Sailes a researcher at the bio-organic chemistry division of Genentech Inc. has involved most of his life in genetics. In high school he wanted to become a doctor and went to study at the College of Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. The close relation between a medical field and genetic engineering field was alarming and he decided to look into the organic chemistry course work.
The idea of being able to develop a drug that will help fight human disease was the concept that captured his career search. He wishes that somebody advised him that to be a research associate you just need to “study hard, try to understand, ask a lot of questions, and be organized. Make sure not to get discouraged by compounds that dont work, stay optimistic and look at the overall picture and the overall goal, keep trying.” (Interview- Sailes) The future of genetic engineering is looking good. There are many new jobs and areas that have not been touched yet. Clones for organ donning, increased crop production, disease vaccinations, and cures for the incurable all hold the key to the future of the common geneticist. Why I would or would not want to be a Geneticist? I would want to be a geneticist because of their impact on society and the future of our lives.
Geneticists make existing food products better and safer for the consumer. They allow people with a disease a new chance at life using vaccines and genetic screening. Soon geneticists will be able to fix defects before people are born, giving them a better chance to survive in the world. Being a geneticist could mean that I might discover the genes that allow people to change certain aspects about themselves. I could make someones eyes a different color with a simple injection. I could clone organs and limbs. The ability to clone organs and limbs is not that far off, all scientists need to learn is what environment an organ can naturally grow in. The ability to clone organs would slowly eliminate organ banks, the long search for organs and the powerful chemicals used to stop rejection of the new organs.
The organs could be made and implanted in the individual; since the organ is really his own there would be little to no rejection of the organ. The process would save millions of people within just a few years. The ability to clone eyes or eye tissue could eliminate blindness. The ability to clone limbs would give hope to millions that are disabled. The possibilities are endless. Along with the benefits there are negative sides of being a geneticist.
Geneticists have to deal with the controversial “playing god issue.” There are countless numbers of regulations made to deter scientist from doing work with genetics. Along with political issues, mistakes and experiments can be deadly. While engineering a cure for the common cold a deadly virus could be created. Genetic screening could cause millions of deaths due to a miscalculation. Scientists currently do not know enough about living systems to perform DNA surgery without creating some mutations, which could be harmful to the environment and our health. Geneticists are experimenting with very delicate, yet powerful forces of nature, without full knowledge of the repercussions.
A deadly species of animal could be accidentally created in a cloning experiment. Despite the controversy and side effects of genetic engineering, I would like to become a geneticist. The genetic field covers more and more jobs every year, almost promising employment. The future for a geneticist is prodigious. It takes hard work, time, and patients to be a genetic engineer, but I believe it is worth it.
Bibliography Work Cited “Genetic Engineering,” Microsoft Encarta, 1998. Sailes, Courtney. Interview. E-Mail, , March 1998. Facklam, Margery and Howard. From Cell to Clone. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979. “Biotechnology Timeline 1977- Present,” Access Excellence Genetech, 1998.
Career Opportunities in Genetics. Maryland: The Genetics Society of America Administrative Office, 1997.