Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Majors and differences

  1. Aug 6, 2008 #1
    Hello. I have a few questions as to the differences in some specific fields along with majoring differences. Can you please help me describe some sample jobs, and correct me on my descriptions.

    Bioengineering: modifying the genetic structure to give certain characterics to i.e. plants.
    Sample job could be working in lab on rice plants to increase the amount of havests in a crop cycle.

    Biochemist: Observing the chemical reactions in biological lifeforms, i.e. when a human becomes angry - what type of chemicals are released.
    Sample Job: eh... I dunno

    Also wanted to find some more about molecular biologists, and about the nanotechnology.

    I think it'd be sweet to go into nanotechnology - maybe even a minor would fill me up (would nano help with a bioengineering or something?). Right now bioengineering, from my understanding, looks very appealing. Anyone's take on any of this? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2008 #2
    Genetics --> Genome Sciences or a similar name. But it's not uncommon to see a biologist or biochemist doing research relevant to this. "Your major is not your career."

    Biochemistry is chemistry as it applies to biology. You seem to more or less have that down. It's a little broader than that, but you've got the rough idea.

    Bioengineering is actually not as well-defined yet as it is usually a relatively new program, so you will need to look at the specific curriculum. Generally this involves engineering devices relevant to biological and medical applications, or engineering things like assistive devices or artificial organs.

    Nanotechnology is highly interdisciplinary, but tends to incorporate a lot of chemistry and physics. It has plenty of potential applications to a wide array of things, so you will see some people in the fields you're interested in researching it or researching uses of it.
  4. Aug 6, 2008 #3
    Alright, this is very helpful. We've all seen the discovery channel or whatever it is. So genetic major, or genome sciences is more of alter genetic structures to the example I mentioned earlier?
  5. Aug 6, 2008 #4
    Discovery channel?

    Genome sciences is not usually an undergraduate major. I would hazard, never. You should have a strong background in chemistry (at least through OChem & lab) and biology (at least a year of "for majors" biology requiring chemistry, and probably some topics courses) if that's what you want to pursue.
  6. Aug 7, 2008 #5
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook