Biotechnologists apply biological principles to develop technologies and products that improve our lives and the health of our planet.
What is biotechnology?
Biotechnology looks for ways to use biology to solve real-world problems. It is all about looking at a living system and thinking, how we can use that system to help create better medicines, improve the environment, or find safer more sustainable ways to create food and cure diseases. Biotechnology is the key to solving some of the biggest challenges we face today.
What do biotechnologists actually do?
Biotechnologists use cutting edge techniques and equipment to study and manipulate living organisms for research and product development.
Some areas biotechnologists can go on to specialise in include:
- Ecotoxicology – how chemicals affect the environment and the organisms living in it.
- Environmental biotechnology – using microbes and biological systems to tackle environmental problems like climate change.
- Agricultural biotechnology – developing more productive plants and animals.
- Pharmaceutical biotechnology – vaccine development and production.
- Bioinformatics – taking biological information and data to model living systems.
Where do biotechnologists work?
Biotechnologists work in a variety of fields including:
- medical research laboratories,
- industrial manufacturing,
- agricultural research industry, and
- government departments (eg. CSIRO).
What type of person do I need to be?
A career in biotechnology may be for you, if you:
- have an interest in the natural world,
- have an aptitude for science,
- like figuring out how things work,
- think logically and analytically,
- can carry out detailed and accurate work,
- are good at coming up with practical solutions
- enjoy working as part of a team and independently, and
- enjoy the thrill of innovation and problem solving.