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UNDERSTANDING

GENETICS.

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WHAT A GENETICIST ACTUALLY DOES

A geneticist’s top priority is to examine genes and attempt to further the boundaries of science. Geneticists perform experiments and analyze data to interpret the inheritance of traits. A geneticist is also a Consultant or Medical Doctor who has been trained in genetics as specialization. They evaluate, diagnose and manage patients with hereditary conditions or congenital malformations, genetic risk calculation, mutation analysis and referral to other medical specialties is also involved.

Genetic engineering research scientists, or biotechnologists, manipulate and modify the genes, or hereditary makeup, of microorganisms, plants, and animals. They are specialists in the field of genetics and conduct research 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.

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 developedBy isolating and modifying genetic material, genetic engineering research scientists have made medical breakthroughs concerning antibiotics, hereditary diseases, and infertility in humans.(© Rick Friedman/Corbis.)through 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.

Genetic engineering research scientists are involved in researching, developing, and testing new methods and products with many potential applications. They are employed in private industry by chemical and pharmaceutical companies and firms that specialize in genetic engineering. Some work in medical facilities, colleges, or universities. Many are engaged in AIDS research.

Most genetic engineering research scientists are microbiologists. They use recombinant DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) techniques, or gene splicing, to isolate genetic material from one organism and transplant it into another.

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