Biotechnologist

Summary

Biotechnologists study plants, animals and microorganisms. They use this knowledge to develop uses for biological processes, which include creating products for pharmaceutical, agricultural, diagnostic and environmental use, and advancing industrial processes. Their work may incorporate the use of small molecule technologies, nanotechnology, bioinformatics and synthetic biology.

Duties & Tasks

Biotechnologists may perform the following tasks:

  • study the genetic, chemical, physical and structural composition of cells, tissues and organisms
  • identify ways in which organisms and biological processes can be used to create new medicines, vaccines, foods, fuels and pharmaceutical products
  • develop diagnostic tools to rapidly detect diseases
  • use bacteria, enzymes and other organisms for a range of industrial uses, including agricultural production, food production and waste removal
  • crossbreed animals and plants to encourage beneficial characteristics such as disease resistance, improved nutrition and accelerated environmental adaptation
  • conduct research and experiments in the fields of genetic modification and biomolecular engineering, which involves altering the genetic make-up of plants and animals
  • conduct human stem cell research with the aim of treating or preventing illnesses
  • use biological engineering processes to create biological products for commercial use, such as biomaterials, chemicals or fuels.

Personal Requirements

  • enthusiasm and aptitude for science and research
  • able to think logically and analytically
  • able to carry out detailed and accurate work
  • good communication skills
  • able to solve problems and think creatively
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • able to grasp ethics of scientific research involving humans.

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