Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Chloroplasts for humans
Name: Kevin W Deronne
Status: N/A 
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Dear Scientists,

I am interested in entering the field of genetics. What are some of the courses in high school and beyond you would recommend taking? How far in my schooling should I continue before I get a job? A masters or a Ph.D.? I also have a question regarding genetics. Would it be theoretically possible to change a person's DNA so that he or she would be able to produce chloroplasts and therefore be able to make his or her own food? Also, how much of human DNA has been mapped? I thank you very much.



Replies:
Genetics is a marvelous field of study - I encourage you to keep exploring it! High school courses should include as much math, biology as much math, biology, and chemistry as you can get your hands on. Your future education depends on what you want to do in genetics. Genetics researchers usually have a Ph.D., although some of the lab assistants have masters degrees. Genetic counselors (who work in human medical genetics) often have a specific masters degree. Others who work as geneticist doctors will get a medical degree, with additional specialty training beyond that.

Regarding your specific question: no, people will not be able to have their own chloroplasts; to do so would require many many different genes, all working in proper rhythm, and such an undertaking is far beyond us now.

Crude maps of much of the human genome have already been constructed both by seeing which genes are near other genes, and by physically mapping DNA fragments in a particular order. A significant effort is being put forth to make this map better, to the point of finally having all of the genome sequence available.

Steve J Triezenberg



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory