Studies & Degrees in Cellular and Molecular Biology
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Scientists who examine biological functions, characteristics and changes at a microscopic level are experts in the cellular and molecular biological field. This course of study examines cells, molecules and other particles in order to: observe their functions; define their genetic codes; track biological changes and understand various cellular and molecular systems. It is only concerned with biological or living systems.
Cellular and molecular biology is a course of study that requires a significant background of scientific knowledge and training. It is a course not typically available anywhere aside from a post-secondary educational school. Therefore, interested individuals will need to attend a college, university, technical school or acclaimed science institute for this study. Some medical schools also offer courses in this field. Any cellular and molecular biology course will also require laboratory experience, an internship or work experience. There are also some online courses available to students not seeking a traditional post-secondary educational experience.
Cellular and molecular biology is often offered as a single course of study or college major, but there are some exceptions. In cases where the unified course is not available, candidates will still be capable of taking a double course of study or double major in molecular biology and cellular biology.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Cellular and Molecular Biology
Due to the fact that almost all courses in cellular and molecular biology will be at higher education levels, applicants must meet the admission requirements outlined by their school of choice. The basic requirements of most institutions include the acquirement of a secondary school completion certificate, along with a passing score on a standardized aptitude test or entrance exam.
Students should already show a heightened interest and aptitude in the maths and sciences prior to study, as this course reaches advanced levels in both subjects. Dedication is key, as the course typically requires at least four years of focused study.
Other key skills a future cellular and molecular biologists include:
- Close attention to detail and patience.
- Great communication and team-working skills.
- Passion for learning.
- Developed problem-solving skills.
Skills and Qualifications Acquired from Studies in Cellular and Molecular Biology
A competent course in cellular and molecular biology will provide individuals with skills in the following areas:
- Advanced chemistry and biochemistry.
- Types of cells, cellular structure and characteristics of cells.
- Advanced genetics study (chromosomes, etc.)
- Composition and functions of genetic material (DNA, etc.).
- Tools and techniques in molecular study (cloning etc.)
- Tools and techniques in cellular study (microscopic, etc.).
- Biological technology.
- Laboratory regulations, safety procedures and ethical standards.
Careers for Studies in Cellular and Molecular Biology
A large percentage of cellular and molecular biologists enter the field of medical research. Here, they study diseases, genetic disorders and medical treatments at a cellular or molecular level in order to produce vaccines and antibiotics. Others work alongside doctors and other physicians to diagnosis individual patient disease or consult families with genetic disease.
Some graduates work for environmental programs, solving environmental contamination or other issues. It is also possible for these scientists to develop new products for manufacturing companies, oil corporations, government agencies or in food production. Still others return to school as secondary school teachers or professors.