Chloroplasts for humans
Name: Kevin W Deronne
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.
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
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Update: June 2012