Career Compass: Gene engineering

A fit choice for those with futuristic DNA

A fit choice for those with futuristic DNA

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Hardeep Puri

DNA technology is all about sequencing, analysis, cutting and pasting of DNA and a series of procedures to join together DNA segments. Whereas, Gene engineering is a process of using recombinant DNA technology to alter the genetic makeup of an organism. It involves direct manipulation of one or more genes.

Why is it important?

DNA contains the instructions needed for an organism to develop, survive and reproduce. To carry out these functions, DNA sequences must be converted into messages that can be used to produce proteins, which are complex molecules that do most of the work in our bodies. Genetic engineering also helps speed up the process of creating new foods with desired traits.

Why is it used?

DNA technology and gene engineering have major use in medicine for diagnosis of hereditary diseases or rare diseases that may have roots in hereditary. Besides this it is also used for investigating processes, forensic medicine and for detection of infectious pathogens.

Pros and Cons of these procedures

Not only is it used in case of humans but also in case of plants and animals. The pros of this procedure with regards to plants is that it provides for more nutritious foods, providing for food that are disease and drought resistant. In case of humans, it helps to fight long standing diseases that a person has been suffering from, passed on through hereditary. Helps get rid of illness in young and new borns’ and enable them to have a better life.

The cons are mainly from a thought process angle where a lot of religions oppose such practices. Besides this the ethical reasons opposing such practices are genetic defects which can be a result of such practices. Unfavourable choice of diversity to name a few.

Scope

Both DNA technology and gene engineering have wide scope of application in medicine, industries, forensics and agriculture sector. It involves manipulation of an organism’s genes using biotechnology. In recent times, there is an increase in demand for genetics as a career due to development of improved medicine and wellness therapies. It is a research- oriented field.

Courses

The courses for gene engineering and DNA technology and its specialized studies are available in all leading IIT’s as graduate and masters across the country including Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and AIIMS, Delhi.

Eligibility

For admission one needs to be science graduate with subjects like Chemistry, Biology and Physics and passed their Class XII to be eligible for B.Tech course in DNA technology and Gene engineering.

Future prospects

Those who have studied DNA technology and gene engineering have a wide scope for jobs in India and abroad in both government and private sector related to agriculture, specialized industries, medicine and forensic with handsome salaries. Besides this one can also opt for research and teaching in the field.

The world is changing rapidly with more learning and understanding of things around us. As science is advancing so will new avenues where there is more to learn not only about our surroundings but also about us to understand things better. This knowledge can arm us with crucial details and understanding to further grow.

 The writer is Founder- Learntoupgrade

 

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