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Genetic Engineering Career

Genetic engineering, in simple words, is a laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA of living organisms. This wonderful branch of engineering or science enables the human minds to interfere in and modify the processes of life, birth death and even offers escape from certain congenital diseases. There is great scope in this field as the demand for genetic engineers is growing both in India and abroad.

Genetic engineers/scientists re-arrange the sequence of DNA in gene using artificial methods. The work involves extracting the DNA out of one organism, changing it using chemicals or radiation and subsequently putting it back into the same or a different organism. For e.g.: genes and segments of DNA from one species is taken and put into another species. They also study how traits and characteristics are transmitted through the generations, and how genetic disorders are caused. Their research involves researching the causes and discovering potential cures if any.

The specializations in genetic engineering are related to plants, animals and human beings. The plant genetic engineering involves improving certain natural characteristics of value, viz. increase resistance to disease or damage and to develop new characteristics etc. It is used to change the colour, size, texture etc of plants otherwise known as GM (Genetically Modified) foods. GE in humans can be to correct severe hereditary defects by introducing normal genes into cells in place of missing or defective ones. Genetic engineering is a complicated and most sophisticated branch of science which is still in a process of development in our country.

Eligibility For Genetic Engineering Career

Genetic Engineer, must have a graduate / postgraduate degree in genetics or related fields such as biotechnology, molecular biology, microbiology or biochemistry OR a doctorate (PhD) from a recognised university, based on 2-3 years of his own research under the guidance of a professor/lecturer. The basic eligibility criteria for a graduate degree (BE / B.Tech) is 10+2 or equivalent examination, with Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics as well as genetics as part of the biology OR a bachelors degree in science or molecular biology.

Job Prospects For Genetic Engineering Career

Genetic engineers are mainly absorbed in medical and pharmaceutical industries, the agricultural sector, and the research and development departments of the government and private sectors. They can also take up teaching as an option. Genetic engineering involves developing hybrid varieties of plants, making a plant disease resistant by transferring genes from a plant that already has the characteristic, introducing Genetically Modified foods by changing the colour, size, texture of the produce of plants such as fruits and vegetables.