In order to understand what Genetics is all about we need to go down and understand some basic about how our body is made. Every cell of our body carries the story of evolution, which is written in our DNA. Humans are comprised of about 25,000 genes and most of these genes are common in every human. What is DNA? Deoxyribonucleic acid is more commonly known as DNA, is a complex molecule that contains all of the necessary information needed to build and maintain an organism. Genes determine the unique traits of each individual and their physical characteristics. Genes also contain the necessary information to make functional molecules called protein. The transformation of Gene to protein is a very complex and controlled process that happens within each cell. The journey from gene to protein consists of two major steps called the transcription and translation and together they are known a gene expression. Proteins that are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids that are attached to each other in a continuous long chain are actually large complex molecules that play critical roles in the body. The different functions these proteins perform are that of Antibody, Enzyme, Messenger, Structural component transport and Storage. These proteins aid in building, regulating and maintaining our bodies. These proteins are the ones that make our bones grow, are responsible for the muscle movement; control our digestion, blood circulation and many more. It is amazing that thousands and thousands of genes are responsible for our similarities with each other and just 0.1% of these genes make us unique.
The study of Genetics is vast. It is not just about humans but every living organism that inhibits this blue planet. There are various branches and each equally important. Let us discuss some of them.
Classical Genetics is the oldest discipline in the field of genetics which is based solely on the visible results of reproductive acts. Classical Genetics techniques and methodologies were in use before the advent of Molecular biology.
Ecological genetics is the study of genetics in natural population and is in complete contrast with classical genetics which more of laboratory research works while Ecological genetics is a mixture of more field research and laboratory studies.
Human Genetics is the study of inheritance as it occurs in humans. However Human Genetics is quite vast and comprises of many other overlapping fields that include classical genetics, molecular genetics, biochemical genetics, population genetics, developmental genetics, population genetics to name a few.
Quantitative Genetics is the study of continuously measured traits such as the height or weight of a person and how these work or in other words their mechanism.
Molecular Genetics is the field of biology and genetics which studies the structure and functions of the genes at a molecular level. It studies the chromosomes and the gene expressions that are responsible for the heredity, generic variations and mutations that take place in an organism. Study of Molecular genetics also is helpful in the study of development biology and understanding the reasons behind genetic diseases and treating them.
Medical Genetics is a specialized part of medical studies that involves the diagnosis and management of different hereditary disorders. It is different from human genetics. Human genetics may or may not apply to medical genetics. For example study of human eye color though is a part of Human genetics ut would not necessarily be relevant to the study or research in Medical genetics
Biochemical Genetics study the fundamental relationships between the genes, protein and body metabolism, which also involves the study and research on the cause of many diseases that are gets passed on hereditarily.
Cytogenetic study the structure and workings of the cell, especially the Chromosomes.
Study of genetics is very important. In future the doctors and scientists hope to find cure of many diseases using our genetic information. A geneticist is one who studies the genes, how they are inherited, how they mutate, how these genes can e activated or deactivated and also study the roles that these genes play in diseases and health.
To become a geneticist one needs to have certain key skills which will prove very beneficial. These are;
1. Analytical skills.
2. Attention to detail.
3. Problem solving.
4. Critical thinking.
5. The ability to understand complex concepts.
6. Teamwork and communication skills.
8. IT skills.
The Geneticist mostly works in research labs, hospitals, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies. Apart from laboratory work Geneticists depending on their choice of fields may also require to do field work.
Genetics is a very exciting and energizing field. The scope of study and work is equally varied. With the advancement in Science and technology Geneticists are immersed in exciting path creating new medical breakthroughs almost every day. Geneticists are very well paid and can choose from an array of jobs related to their studies like;
1.Clinical Research Associate
4.Plant Breeder/ Geneticist
5.Research Scientist (Life Sciences)
6.Research Scientist (Medical)
To become a geneticist, one should start by taking plenty of math and science courses in high school, especially biology and chemistry. In college biology, chemistry, and biochemistry are majors for those who intend to pursue careers in genetics.
The job of a Geneticist is rewarding both if a person is dedicated towards protection of the Earth, the human life as well as with regard to the competitive pay. There is a huge demand for Geneticist as more and more research and constant endeavor is underway to find new cure, better health, good life, not just for humans but every living organism that surrounds this life of ours on Earth. It helps us to understand how the whole complex world or organism works and how we can make our own body to work positively for us.
To get a better understanding about the courses it will be good to go in for some career counseling either in person or through online. A good counseling will help understand the requirements as well as a good counseling session makes one understand if one has the interest for the subject or not.
Additionally information can be sought at the below links;
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Posted By - Assistant Editor