Biotechnology Gloucester Marine Genomic Institute
The science of biotechnology, based on the knowledge of DNA function, has created an industry around the genetic manipulation of biological organisms. In ancient civilizations (prior to knowing anything about DNA), people empirically used DNA manipulation to breed animals with desirable traits, and to make alcohol, bread, yogurt, and cheese with bacteria and yeast.
The modern industry of biotechnology emerged when the scientific knowledge of DNA’s structure and function were revealed in 1953. Two British scientists, James Watson and Francis Crick, successfully decoded the molecular structure of the DNA double-helix which rapidly led to an understanding of how DNA replicates.
Watson’s and Crick’s discovery marks the beginning of a scientific revolution that continues to this day. It has led to the development of life-changing discoveries like: cheaper, more efficient production of vaccines and insulin; higher yield from crops due to greater disease and pest resistance; and biofuels that reduce greenhouse emissions. The potential advances of biotechnology are limitless and will continue to improve our world into the future, in the process growing the need for professional staffing.
Typical lab technician jobs
Entry-level technicians trained to work in a biotechnology laboratory can be employed in a diverse array of fields -- such as pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, agricultural labs, law enforcement agencies, and academic labs. New graduates are most frequently hired as laboratory, manufacturing, or quality control technicians. Typically, entry-level technicians work as an integral part of a team of scientists and have a mixture of responsibilities that can include:
- Performing tests in the laboratory to produce reliable data
- Following a standard operating procedure that adheres to current good laboratory and
- Maintaining accurate and reliable records
- Preparing consistent solutions and buffers for use in the laboratory
- Calibrating, operating, and maintaining instrumentation to ensure functionality
- Using computers to prepare and interpret data for review by team members
- Following strict safety procedures in the laboratory
Once working in a biotechnology lab an employee will be exposed to many opportunities to specialize which can enable unique career paths. The Academy is committed to providing the essential skills for starting a career -- but that is just the beginning of the biotechnology adventure!
Updates on industry hiring
Massachusetts is one of the world leaders in biotechnology, employing more individuals than any other state. These numbers tell the story:
- More than 60,459 individuals employed in biotechnology
- 2,096 biotechnology job openings in Massachusetts as of July 2015
- Over 100 biotechnology companies based on the North Shore