The What, Why & How of a Career in – Genetic Engineering
Have you ever overheard people talking about genetically modified food products at your local grocery store? Or come across those unusual blue, purple or green colored roses? Well, all this and much more is made possible today, all thanks to Genetic Engineering, a branch of Science dedicated to modifying the genetic makeup and changing the code of life i.e. DNA. Geneticists are the wizards who use scientific tools to rework on DNA. Using these tools, they can enhance or modify the characteristics of an organism.
You’ll be surprised to know some of the things that they have made possible through Genetic Engineering (GE):
->GE can give your veggies and fruits a longer shelf life and they are often referred to as GM (Genetically Modified) foods. The first of its kind was the Flavr Savr tomato which stays ripe and fresh for a longer time as compared to your everyday tomatoes.
->GE can save a life even before it’s born through modifications made in the embryo stage itself. By creating these “designer babies” we can prevent them from harmful and life threatening diseases. This not only changes the life cycle of the baby but creates ripples of change in the entire human gene pool.
Scientists are also working on consumable forms of vaccines, this could mean that instead of taking your regular vaccinations as an injection, you could just eat a banana (phew!).
Scope and Opportunities in the Field of Genetic Engineering:
This is one field which has applications across sectors be it healthcare, agriculture, research or medicine. Above all, if you are looking for some ground-breaking research or teaching options in this field then you can look for opportunities in countries like USA, UK and Malaysia. But, your home ground, India is also making huge strides in this field and a lot of prestigious institutions like the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and IISER (Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research) also support research and development in Genetics.
The following organisations are some of the top recruiters in the field of Genetic Engineering:
- Biochemical Engineering Research and Process Development Centre, Chandigarh
- The Centre for DNA Fingerprint and Diagnostics, Hyderabad
- The National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi
- The Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology, Delhi
A number of institutes across the country offer the courses you’ll need to become a geneticist.
Here’s a list of the best colleges where you can apply:
->Indian Institute of Science Education and Research
->Indian Institute of Science
->Indian Institute of Technology
->National Institute of Technology
Some universities also offer courses specific to Genetics:
->SRM University [B.Tech, M.Tech and PhD in Genetic Engineering]
->Bharath University, Chennai [M.Tech in Genetic Engineering]
->Aryabhatta Knowledge University, Patna [B.Tech and M.Tech in Genetic Engineering]
So, have you made up your mind yet? This is one field which requires an inquisitive mind, observational skills and hard work. So, if this seems like the right fit for you, then it’s time to decide, commit and succeed! For all you know, you could be part of the group of geneticists who are bringing movies like Jurassic Park to life!
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A self love warrior and a believer of ‘hugs make life better’ – Nidhi Tom is a member of team StoryWeavers. Currently, she is in the pursuit of finding the right balance between making nutty travel plans, cozying up in her happy place-the bed and weaving fun and quirky tales. Do write in to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to share your stories, thoughts or any random rants with her.