Today, Genetic Engineering is one of the top career choices made by students in engineering courses.
What is Genetic Engineering?
Genetic Engineering is also referred as genetic modification. It is a process of manually adding new DNA to a living organism through artificial methods.
Genetic Engineering is a method of physically removing a gene from one organism and inserting it to another and giving it the ability to express the qualities given by that gene.
Some examples of genetic engineering are Faster-growing trees, Bigger, longer-lasting tomatoes, Glow in the dark cats, Golden rice, Plants that fight pollution, banana vaccine, etc.
“Genetic Engineering is that field which is related to genes & DNA. Genetic engineering is used by scientists to improve or modify the traits of an individual organism”.
Basically it is a process of using recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology to alter the genetic makeup of an organism. Microbial vectors, electroporation, microinjection, microprojectile bombardment, transposable elements are some of the examples of genetic engineering.
Want to know more about it?
An organism which is generated by applying genetic engineering are called as genetically modified organism (GMO). The first GMO were Bacteria generated in 1973 and GM mice in 1974.
The techniques of genetic engineering have been applied in various fields such as research, agriculture, industrial biotechnology, and medicine. Genetic engineering focuses on biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, and medical genetics.
The term “genetic engineering” was firstly used by Jack Williamson in Dragons Island a science fiction novel. In 1973 Paul Berg – father of genetic engineering invents a method of joining DNA from two different organisms.
Applications of Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering is used in medicine, research, industry and agriculture and can also be used on a wide range of plants, animals and micro organisms.
Medicine – Genetic engineering in the field of medicine is used in manufacturing drugs. The concepts of genetic engineering have been applied in doing laboratory research and in gene therapy.
Agriculture – In Agriculture, genetic engineering is used to create genetically modified crops or genetically modified organisms in order to produce genetically modified foods.
Research – Scientists uses the genetic engineering in their various researches. Genes from various organisms are converted into bacteria for storage and modification, creating genetically modified bacteria.
Courses & Eligibility
What are the courses in this field?
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Genetic engineering is a specialization of biotechnology. It can also be studied as a separate specialization. There are many undergraduate and postgraduate courses available in this field. Some most sought courses opted by students for genetic engineering are listed below:
- Bachelor of Engineering in Genetic Engineering
- Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Genetic Engineering
- B.Sc in Genetic Engineering
- Master of Engineering in Genetic Engineering
- Master of Technology (M.Tech) in Genetic Engineering
- M.Sc in Genetic Engineering
Here, we are mentioning some specializations available in genetic engineering. These are as follows:
- Clinical genetics
- Behavioral genetics
- Classical genetics
- Population, quantitative and ecological genetics
- Molecular genetics
- Genetic algorithms
For admission in UG courses, students must have passed 12th Science exam. In India, most of the colleges give admission on the basis of ranks secured in JEE Main 2023. Joint Entrance Examination Main (JEE Main) is usually conducted in the month of April. Some institutions also provides admission on merit basis. For IITs, it is necessary for students to qualify JEE Advanced 2023 after clearing JEE Main.
For admission in PG courses, students should hold a bachelor degree in genetic engineering from any recognized university. Mostly GATE 2023 score card will be considered for admission in pg courses. On the basis of GATE scores, candidates can apply for admission in Master of Engineering/ Master of Technology courses.
Top colleges which offers various courses in genetic engineering:
- Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
- Indian Institute of Science, (IISc), Bangalore
- Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
- Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
- Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
“Today, demand for genetic engineers is rising in India as well as abroad.”
After pursuing courses in genetic engineering, you can work in medical and pharmaceutical industries, research and development departments, agricultural sector, genetic engineering firms, chemical companies, etc. A genetic engineer can work in both private and public sectors.
Genetic engineering graduates are required in government as well as private organizations.
There is a great growth of genetic engineering in India as well as in abroad. With the increasing number of biotech firms in India, the future scope in genetic engineering is good.
The graduates of this field can also opt teaching as a career. Numerous colleges are introducing genetic engineering course in their colleges and for that they recruit professionals of this field.
To become a genetic engineering research scientist, you need a doctoral degree in a biological science. The genetic engineering research scientist can become project leaders or administrators of entire research programs.
Responsibilities of a genetic engineer:
- A genetic engineer need to be aware of the concepts of the subjects its present and also future prospects.
- The study and research work should be conducted and kept under proper care by the engineers.
- Genetic engineers needed to be connected or maintain contacts with various firms and industries.
- Extend their work timing in case of special projects.
The National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi
The Centre for DNA Fingerprint and Diagnostics, Hyderabad
The Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology, Delhi
Biochemical Engineering Research and Process Development Centre, Chandigarh
How much salary should I expect as a genetic engineering?
Salary packages of a genetic engineer are based on qualification, experience, working area, etc. You can get a handsome salary package after gaining the sufficient experience in this field.
The average salary of a well-qualified genetic engineer is Rs. 20,000 to 35,000 per month. They can earn more in the private sector as compared to the public sector.
Books & Study Materials
Which are the best books for genetic Engineering?
Here we have listed some books which will help you throughout your studies:
- Genetic Engineering by Desmond Nicoll
- Principles of Gene Manipulation: An Introduction to Genetic Engineering” by Old RW, Primrose SB
- Molecular cloning by Sambrooks and Russel
- Current Protocols in Molecular Biology by Ansubel FM, Brent R
- Methods In Enzymology by Berger Sl, Kimmer AR
- Introduction to Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering by A.J. Nair
- Techniques in Genetic Engineering by Aksan Kurnaz
- The Practical Handbook of Genetic Algorithms Applications by Chapman and Hall/CRC
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