What is a geneticist?
A geneticist is someone who specializes in the science of genetics. This is a branch of biology that deals with the characteristics of different organisms, the development of those characteristics, and how these characteristics are passed on to their offspring. A geneticist will evaluate, diagnose, and manage patients with inherited conditions or birth defects, and will also refer patients to other medical specialties.
What does a geneticist do?
Geneticists study how different life forms vary and how these variations are passed on to successive generations. This requires them to conduct experiments in order to determine the origin, mechanisms, and laws that govern particular inherited traits.
Geneticists also look for determinants responsible for certain traits. They do this through careful analysis in order to gain an understanding of the various relationships between heredity and factors such as fertility and maturity.
Depending on their workplace, geneticists could develop methods to modify or generate new traits through the use of chemicals, radiation, or other means, or use what they learn in the management of an inherited disease or in teaching.
There are several branches of genetics that a person can choose to enter; each offers its own unique challenges and interesting themes. Some geneticists go into agriculture in order to increase crop yields and learn about resistance to various diseases that commonly affect crops. Biomedicine applies a knowledge of genetics and genetic origin of some diseases in order to create medicines that focus on the causes of these diseases and disorders. They can also treat genetic disorders that some people experience from birth such as anemia.
Forensic scientists can use their knowledge of genetics to perform DNA tests to verify the guilt or innocence of a suspect. A geneticist may be called in to assist an archaeologist or historian in analyzing ancient organic material. Some enter the field of bioinformatics, which combines computer science with biology, trying to analyze large amounts of information, such as the human genome, and draw scientific conclusions from it.
What is the workplace of a geneticist like?
Geneticists can work in many different fields, doing a variety of jobs. There are many careers for geneticists in medicine, agriculture, wildlife, general science, or many other fields. The workplace depends on the type of work being done; Most research geneticists work in the laboratory of a research facility. On rare occasions some may go into the field to draw samples, however this is usually done by others.
Medical geneticists work in hospitals, medical research centers, or biotechnology research companies. Their research work may require them to work in these settings in order to link medical practice with medical research on genetics and heredity. The laboratory of a medical or biotechnology research facility is a very clean and sterile environment, and it is filled with the latest technological advances in the analysis of an organism’s genome.
Teachers teach in various learning institutions. Most work in colleges in biology departments with strong concentrations in genetics. Research can also be carried out by these learning institutions, and it is quite common to see biology and chemistry labs in schools conducting genetic research.