If you’re interested in pursuing a career in genetics, The University of California at Davis recently announced the construction of a new 10,000 square foot genome center, which could create 200 jobs.
The advanced facility would be among the world's leading genetics research venues. For career minded individuals, UC Davis offers many bio-tech programs and ties with industry and job opportunities.
DNA research is taking on bold new issues. For example, scientists are looking to create three-parent embryos, which would result in babies with the characteristics of three parents instead of two.
Gene mutations in a woman's mitochondrial DNA can lead to disease in her children. These can vary from mild to sometimes serious and even fatal conditions. To avoid these conditions, researchers have turned to using donor eggs with mutation-free mitochondria.
One way to accomplish this is to take the DNA from the nucleus of one woman's egg and inserting it into an emptied nucleus of another woman's egg. The egg can then be fertilized with a man's sperm. Another way would be to fertilize a woman's egg with a man's sperm using IVF, then transfer the nucleus of the fertilized egg into an emptied nucleus in another egg. Either way, the fertilized eggs will have DNA from both parents in the nucleus along with the donor egg's mitochondrial DNA.
Last year, researchers at Newcastle University in the UK used pronuclear transfer techniques to create 80 three-parent human embryos. In February 2011, a review by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority found that "the techniques of maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer are potentially useful for a specific and defined group of patients whose offspring may have severe or lethal genetic disease, and who have no other option of having their own genetic child."
DNA research is an exploding field with many opportunities in multiple directions. If you have any thoughts on pursuing a career in genetics research, feel free to share them in the comments section.