Genetic Engineering implies the deliberate modification of the characters of an organism by the manipulation of its genetic material. In simple terms it is a laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid) of living organisms. This fascinating branch of science enables the human minds to interfere in and modify the processes of life, birth death and even offers escape from certain congenital diseases. Specialists in the field of genetics conduct researches in a broad range of biological sciences including biochemistry, botany, embryology, and microbiology. They have developed techniques with numerous important applications in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and animal husbandry. Genetic engineers/scientists re-arrange the sequence of DNA in gene using artificial methods. They extract the DNA out of one organism, changing it using chemicals or radiation and subsequently put it back into the same or a different organism.
By isolating and modifying genetic material, genetic engineering research scientists have developed strains of bacteria that improve the effects of antibiotics and other useful pharmaceutical products. Clinical tests to help diagnose hereditary diseases and to circumvent infertility in humans have also been developedthrough genetic engineering. In agriculture, this technology is used to develop new crops that are more nutritious, disease-resistant, and able to flourish with less fertilizer. Genetic engineering has also been used to regulate animal breeding. In addition, other work has been directed toward the development of microorganisms that can be used to detoxify industrial waste or to provide alternate fuel sources. The U.S. Patent Office has approved many genetically engineered products including bacteria that consume oil spills and hormones that improve the milk yield of cows.
Eligibility: An individual seeking a career in genetic engineering can start the B.Tech course after his/her Plus Two Science with Physics, Chemistry, Math and Biology. Admission to B.Tech in Genetic Engineering /Biotechnology / Biochemical Engineering is done generally through entrance tests. You can also pursue three-year B.Sc. degree course in Genetics / Biological Science / Life Science / Biotechnology subjects and then go for post-graduation (MSc) in genetics.Most institutes do not offer courses in Genetic Engineering as a special discipline but as a subsidiary in biotechnology, microbiology and biochemistry streams. Under-graduate and post-graduate courses in biotechnology offers specialization in genetic engineering. Those who want to go for further study and research can pursue M.Tech and PhD in genetic engineering offered by few institutes in India including the IITs.
Top Colleges Offering Genetic Engineering AIIMS-All India Institute of Medical Sciences BHU Varanasi-Banaras Hindu University CMC Vellore-Christian Medical College JNU Delhi-Jawaharlal Nehru University IIScBanglore-Indian Institute of Science IIT Bombay-Indian Institute of Technology IIT Delhi-Indian Institute of Technology IIT Kharagpur-Indian Institute of Technology MIT manipal-Manipal Institute of Technology
Job Prospects: In India, there are several sectors that provide employment to genetic engineers . They can be taken in medical and pharmaceutical industries, agricultural sectors and t he research and development departments of government, semi-government private sectors. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries offer the best opportunities to genetic engineers and professionals with handsome salaries apart from other perks and benefits.
Work Environment: The job of genetic engineer has a lot of responsibility attached to it. There is laboratory work that involves micro-syringes, plastic disposable apparatus, controlled sterility, temperature, humidity, and lighting environments, DNA separation and transfer systems, and DNA analysis. A lot of care need to be taken to keep the laboratory organisms alive and healthy.One must also search literature abstracts, databases and read current journals, design, and interpret experiments, publish experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals, and attend international conferences. Communication skills are important to communicate with colleagues and teach both theory and practice to junior colleagues or university students. One has to also attend to the laboratory and dangerous organisms within the laboratory while meeting radiological health and safety requirements. Several other responsibilities include ordering equipment and organisms and inventing new techniques and applications to genetic engineering.
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