What Are Some Emerging Fields in Biomedical Science?
Biomedical science is a broad field that encompasses a number of disciplines. Learn about some emerging fields in biomedical science and what professionals in these disciplines do.
Various Fields in Biomedical Science
Graduates of biomedical science programs have a plethora of fields to choose from. The exact educational requirements vary per field, but job seekers will need at least a bachelor's degree for most entry-level positions and most research or supervisory roles require a master's degree or doctorate. A few of the emerging fields in biomedical science are as follows:
- Gene therapy
Important Facts about This Occupational Field
|Median Salary (2018)||$88,550 (for biomedical engineers)|
|Required Education||Doctoral or professional degree (for medical scientists)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||7% (for biomedical engineers)|
|Key Skills||Observation, communication, decision making, critical thinking, data analysis (for medical scientists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The branch of biomedical science that involves the use of genetic information to cure or treat disease is called gene therapy. According to the National Institutes of Health, gene therapy emerged during the 1980s as a way to combat hereditary diseases by identifying and correcting genetic flaws (history.nih.gov). While gene therapists often provide treatment for existing medical conditions, their ultimate goal is to cure disease by eliminating their genetic cause.
Cytogenetics is the area of biomedical science concerned with studying abnormal or mutated chromosomes. While cytogenetics has existed for quite some time, researchers have recently discovered new techniques to see chromosomal changes. The University of Washington notes that 'interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization' (IFISH) is a one technique used to examine nucleic acid interactions in order to locate genetic abnormalities (www.washington.edu). The IFISH technique has led to new discoveries in cancer research, inherited genetic abnormalities and genome evolution. Other genomics and cytogenetics analyses include G-banding karyotype analysis and chromosome microarray analysis (CMA).
Cheminformatics is a new branch of biomedical science that deals with the fusion of chemistry and computer science. Indiana University reports that the most common use of cheminformatics is to store and record data about chemical compounds (www.indiana.edu). Scientists examine the stored data to discover theoretical compounds that could prove useful in medical research. Pharmaceutical companies use this data to study untested chemical combinations in search of new medications.