What do you remember from high school or the college intro biology class(es)? Unless you have a professional background in the field, you might recall concepts like biological evolution and ecology or the dread of memorizing cellular processes. What about the tools or technology? Like my early years working in a research lab, you probably remember doing everything by hand.
I didn’t get an opportunity to learn and use the latest biological technologies until my last job studying cancer biology, but I was immediately all for the cross-disciplinary advancements.
So what are some exciting technologies?
Transgenics and Gene-Editing:
You might have seen or heard the acronym CRISPR-Cas9 in news media, which is a technology that utilizes single-cell organisms such as bacteria immune defense systems to edit genes in other organisms in the most accurate, cost-effective, and versatile way. Transgenic animals in research have been vital to understanding diseases and developing treatments.
Understanding cellular mechanisms require strict control of variables ranging from the outside environment to the molecular structure of the plate the cells are cultured in. Some instruments can sort individual cells from a small sample containing 100s of millions of cells based on a fluorescently tagged protein!
I had the opportunity to use some of the best microscopy systems available to researchers. Despite some UI frustrations, I always loved looking through the confocal images I’d take. Here is a link to a short article that includes one of the first images I captured!
With all of the advancements in biological research, I know there’s an increasing demand for interdisciplinary professionals, and I look forward to becoming one of them!