Genetics are a branch of biology dealing with an organism’s complete set of DNA—otherwise known as a “genome” in the scientific community—containing all genes that get passed down to it and eventually inherited by its offspring. These genes contain all the information needed to reproduce and develop a functioning person, plant, or animal.
The study of Genetics can be used to explore the genetically determined similarities and differences between human beings. These studies are important in finding answers to questions regarding the inheritance and development of different human phenotypes. The identification of genetic variants also leads to an understanding of disease development, moving Researchers closer to treatments and cures.
Genetics studies can be applied to a broad range of careers. According to study.com, Engineers, Healthcare Professionals, Agricultural Scientists, and Law Enforcement Professionals can maximize their expertise by exploring courses in Genetics. Some titles people have earned by studying Genetics include Genetic Counselor, Biomedical Engineer, Biochemist, Biophysicist, Clinical Researcher, Forensic Science Technician, Medical Scientist, Agricultural and Food Scientist, and Teacher or Higher-Education Faculty Member.
Genetics courses taught through Coursera show learners how basic Biology principles can lead to a more advanced understanding of various Genetics specializations, including Medical Genetics, Evolutionary Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Genomics, Population Genetics, and more. Going further into the subject, learners can explore practical applications of their Genetics studies with sequencing experiments and genomic data science.
Learners with a special interest in genetic abnormalities can take courses on cancer and how it is prevented, diagnosed, and treated, with assignments helping to explore how researchers find genes responsible for different diseases. Successful learners will understand how this information is used to fight these diseases, explore current approaches to finding single genetic variants, and discuss clinical applications of genetic findings.
The skills or experience that you may need to have before studying genetics include the ability to research and collect scientific data and then analyze that data to find patterns and solutions. Other critical skills you may need to already have can include having an understanding of biophysics, which specifically uses advanced algebra and calculus. If you have a basic knowledge or work in the field of science, specifically biology, you may already have some of the experience needed to study the intricate field of genetics.
The kind of people who are best suited for roles in genetics are passionate about the life of a cell and the genetic information it contains that forms or alters the development of a person, plant, or animal. They are able to undertake complex research projects and have the ability to pay attention to details that emerge from the data. People best suited for roles in genetics have the ability to understand and make connections between complex concepts and can then communicate those findings to a team. Also, people who may be best suited for roles in genetics exhibit patience and perseverance to analyze extensive lab data.
Learning genetics may be right for you if you hope to study DNA, RNA, epigenetic patterns, and genome technologies for a career in human, plant, or animal genetics. Studying genetics can benefit you if you plan to work as a genetic counselor, genetics clinical technician, forensic scientist, behavioral medical specialist, or medical lab geneticist, which are just some of the many career opportunities for people mastering the subject. Also, learning genetics may be right for you if you want to become an expert in bioinformatics or biomedical informatics, which are two related and growing fields that use computational research methods and big data to explore how biology and genetics influence the development of medicines to treat diseases. If you plan on obtaining advanced doctoral degrees in the medical field, studying genetics may be the right choice for you.