When preparing to graduate from university, many students are confronted with the question ‘what now?’ This is often a hard question to answer if you plan on leaving academia, but don’t quite know what you do want to do or even what careers are available to scientists. It is all too easy to get tunnel vision when working towards a specific goal, and when you realise that your goal might not lead to a career you actually want, you can feel lost. Use this post to explore the wide range of careers available to scientists and open your eyes to the many opportunities available to those who are scientifically minded!
Being a scientist in my late 20’s, new graduates often ask me for advice on careers available to new science graduates and the pro’s and con’s of working in different sectors. Luckily, I have worked for a variety of different organisations, so I tend to provide them with an overview of my experience and how I felt about the different positions to enable them to decide for themselves. Here is my experience looking for the perfect job.
Epigenetics has recently been hitting the headlines, with sotires like the potential devastation of the palm oil industry through epigenetic effects on the Cover of Nature. So what is epigenetics and what tools are available to study it?
Have you ever heard of a Freshers Fair? If you’re from outside of Europe, the answer is probably no, but these fun and informative events are one of the main ways budding young scholars across Europe get introduced to the cultures and opportunities available to them at university.
Transposons are sequences of DNA that can move around in a genome. In a laboratory setting, transposons can be used to both introduce genes into an organism’s genome (see figure) and to disrupt endogenous genes at the site of insertion. In both of these cases, transposons combine the advantages of viruses and naked DNA while eliminating some of the drawbacks. Specifically, viruses are able to infect and replicate in host cells, but they are susceptible to cells’ defense mechanisms. The use of non-viral vectors, like transposons, avoids many, though not all, of these defenses. For some applications of genome engineering - such as certain forms of gene therapy - avoiding the use of viruses is also important for social and regulatory reasons.