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Genetics Basics: Things You Should Know

Genetics is the part of biology that studies genes,  genetic variation, heredity, mutations, and the role of genetics in aging and disease. There are also several branches of genetics. 

A person who studies genetics is known as a Geneticist, whereas an environmental geneticist studies how environmental factors interact with genes to cause various diseases or species to adapt to them.


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Most geneticists are interested in medicine, agriculture, and crime. In all three of these areas, geneticists stand a good chance of finding jobs in authorities, universities, biorepositories, or biobanks as well as in large pharmaceutical companies. 

These three areas can be closely linked in terms of research. This means that regardless of their specialty, geneticists can make many useful contacts within the industry. There are generally two types of geneticists:

Laboratory geneticists – the field most occupied by geneticists. This role includes the application of genetic technology.

Genetic Counselor – an area where a geneticist works as a counselor or nurse. This role involves working with parents who are at risk of conceiving children with birth defects. They also play an important role in advising health and insurance companies on new medical technologies.

Geneticists can work anywhere, depending on their area of specialization. As an example:

Research geneticist – working in a laboratory or in a research facility.

Medical geneticist – works in a hospital, medical facility, or biotech facility.

Academics – work in schools such as colleges and universities.