— Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
What is Genetics?
Geneticists study the process by which organisms inherit and transmit genetic information from one generation to the next. It is hugely important in medical science to understand the basis of inherited diseases, and in scientific investigations to discover how these diseases can be cured.
But genetics is an important discipline of biological science since it allows us to understand how life exists at all layers of complexity, ranging from the level of single molecules to the level of whole populations.
In agriculture, genetics is the basis of breeding new, more productive, and more pest-resistant crops.
Genetics is also helping to identify and convict criminals – a single drop of blood or a single strand of hair can establish the criminal’s identity beyond any doubt!
The rapidly growing biotechnology industry is using genetics to produce everything from pharmaceuticals to microchips.
In fact, the recent dream breakthrough in genetics – the cracking of the human genetic code – where human DNA has been unraveled that all human beings are almost exactly identical (99.9% of any human being’s genetic material matches exactly with any other human being’s) despite their difference in colour of the skin, height, looks etc. This has proved that all the theories about certain races being ‘genetically programmed’ to be superior while others are ‘genetically programmed’ to be inferior in every are all a load of rubbish.
Genetics is an important discipline of biological science since it allows us to understand how life exists at all layers of complexity, ranging from the level of single molecules to the level of whole populations. Geneticists could specialize, or be involved in, one of the following areas of genetics:
Genetic engineers rearrange the gene structure by manipulation techniques such as rearrangement, alteration and splicing (a process whereby one DNA molecule or fragment can be attached to another).
It involves the study of cell structures and chromosomes. Cytogenetic helps in diagnosis and in providing the most suitable treatment. Tests are carried out on samples of blood and bone marrow of patients. This helps diagnose chromosomal abnormalities associated with disease.
It entails an in-depth study of protein molecules in the cell or the DNA. It is an extensive study of the flow of information in protein molecules, the DNA and the RNA.
Population genetics involves the study of breeding methods, mutations and the produce of farm animals.
It combines information from genetics and immunological analyses to study antibody formation and the immune response of the human body.
Genetic counselors advise families regarding genetically transmitted diseases. They study the family history and assess the likelihood of the disease being transmitted based on scientific facts and data.
Are your Aptitudes and Personality suitable for becoming a good Geneticist?
To know this, take the MyTalentTM Assessment.Take MyTalentTM Assessment