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What is Genetic Engineering – Work and Career Prospects

Update on 07 Jun, 22

5 minutes read

What is Genetic Engineering – Work and Career Prospects
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Genetic Engineering Course, Career, Scope, Colleges, Placements and Job Profile

Genetic Engineering is a state-of-the-art branch of science, in which genetics in the DNA code of living beings is transformed through state-of-the-art technology. Due to genetic techniques, crops that are resistant to crops and crops that can be produced in drought are produced. Through this, such qualities are developed in trees and animals, with the help of which the resistance to fighting diseases is developed. Such trees are known as Genetically Modified Food. A Career in Genetic engineering is very basic. The use of genetic engineering is happening on a large scale in the field of biotechnology. Presently the demand for genetic engineers is increasing fast along with India as well.

Qualifications and courses in Genetic Engineering:

To become a Genetic Engineer, it is necessary to have a degree in Genetic or Post Graduate in Genetics or a related field. To enter the graduate course in Genetics, 12th biology, chemistry and math must be passed. At present, different universities and institutes don’t offer separate courses for genetic engineering but their studies are in the form of auxiliary subjects in biotechnology, microbiology, and biochemistry. The Graduate course, BE and B.Tech. is based on an entry entrance exam. Jawaharlal Nehru University organizes joint examinations for 120 seats each year for admission in MSc in Genetic Engineering.

Possibilities of building a Career in Genetic Engineering:

Job opportunities for Genetic Engineers as well as abroad in India, are increasing rapidly. For them, employment opportunities are mainly in medical and pharmaceutical companies, the agriculture sector, private and government research and development centers. Teaching can also be tried as a career option. Apart from this, there are many other fields of getting employment. In the Biotech Laboratory, there are plenty of employment opportunities in the research, energy, and environment-related industry, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Farming, Medicine, etc. Some institutions hire genetic engineers.

Following are the best institutes for Career Genetic Engineering:
  • IIT, Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur, Guwahati
  • Delhi University, New Delhi
  • Osmania University, Hyderabad
  • Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
  • Rajendra Agricultural University, Samastipur
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • Banaras Hindu University
  • All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi
Historical development in the field of Genetic Engineering:

Genetic Engineering is a term that initially referred to the various techniques used for the organism's manipulation and modification by the process of heredity and reproduction. As such, embraced both artificial selection and all the interventions of techniques used in biomedicals and among them artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization like cloning, and gene manipulation.

The working process of genetic engineering are as follows:

To help explain the whole process of engineering in genetics I’ll make you understand this by an example of insulin. i.e, a protein that helps to regulate the sugar levels in the blood of homo sapiens.

  • In general, insulin is produced in the pancreas but people having type 1 diabetes have a problem with the productions of insulin
  • Those who are having diabetes need to inject insulin to control their blood sugar levels.
  • This form of engineering  known as genetic engineering has been used to produce a type of insulin, similar to our own formation of yeast and bacteria
  • This genetically modified insulin, ‘humulin’ got licensed for the use of Homo Sapiens in the year 1982
Get a glimpse of the whole genetic engineering process:
  • From the yeast cell, a kind of bacteria is extracted and for your information, I want to tell you a small piece of circular DNA called a plasmid.
  • With the help of molecular scissors, a small piece is being cut out of the circular plasmid
  • Into the gap in the plasmid human insulin is the gene inserted. This plasmid is now genetically modified
  • A plasmid that is genetically modified is introduced into a new bacteria or in a yeast cell
  • The cell then divides rapidly and starts making insulin
  • Creation of a large number of cells, the genetically modified bacteria or yeast are grown in large fermentation vessels which contains all the nutrients they need. More the cell divide more insulin is produced
  • Purification of these insulins takes place as a procedure and these are packaged into the bottles and insulin pens for distribution to the patients along with diabetes
A brief history of genetic engineering should be known before creating a career in genetic engineering:

A brief look at the history of searching for horizontal gene transfer would be useful. The credit for this discovery can be given to a 20th-century scientist (epidemiologist) Frederick Griffith. He believed that the control measures against infectious diseases can be made only when we have information about the varieties of pathogenic bacteria obtained from epidemics. To move forward towards this goal (a career in genetic engineering)  they were working on the varieties of pathogenic bacteria Streptococcus which produces Pneumococcus. Some varieties of this bacteria cause disease, while others do not. Griffith had reported in 1928 that when this type of disease-causing bacteria was killed with heat and mixed with the living form of the same type of bacteria that did not cause disease, even if the bacteria obtained pathogenic properties. The conclusion of this experiment came out that any substance transferred from the dead bacteria to the living organisms creates a new quality.  

Applications of Genetic Engineering are as follows:

In medicals: Genetic engineering in medicine is used in manufacturing drugs and steroids. This concept of genetic engineering has been applied in doing laboratory research and also in gene therapy.

In the field of Agriculture: In agriculture, genetic engineering is used to create crops genetically modified or organisms to produce genetically modified foods.

In the field of Research: In their various researcher's scientists use genetic engineering. Genes from various organisms are converted into bacteria for storing them and to modify them and also for creating genetically modified bacteria.

Genetic Engineering in humans:
  • The first experiment is called somatic genetic modification. This process adds, cuts, or changes genes in some cells in a living person. Usually, this is undertaken for treatment or alleviation of an existing medical condition
  • The second one is the germline genetic modifications. This process involves the direct genetic modification of eggs, sperm, and early embryos. This must be the best field for a career in genetic engineering
  • Any modifications that were made would appear in every cell in the growing or a grown-up person and would also pass down to our future generations. This is not yet tried in humans to date and is widely seen as something like a holistic point of view
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