Tuesday, July 3, 2012

April 2011 Newsletter for Research Professionals


The Newsletter for Research Professionals       April 2011

Science and Technology used to be two distinct fields that crossed over on occasion, particularly in the areas of chemistry and physics. Today the line between technology and science is increasingly blurred and even in biological science there is crossover. You may believe that the future belongs to robots or some cyborg type creatures that combines organic and inorganic life forms, or you may think the whole concept of a technological and biological merge is fantasy. Either way, there is no question that the fields of science and technology are merging more than ever before, even if humans and machines aren’t. This is reflected in the kind of job postings we are seeing increasingly at ResearchNetwork.com. Jobs in biomedical, stem cell, disease control and scientific engineering and technology are increasingly at the forefront of the most desirable research jobs.


Modern science/engineering research

Biomedical engineering is one of those areas seeing increased crossover between the science and engineering aspects of research. Like machines, the human body is prone to breakdown which needs repair or replacement. Biomedical engineering serves to bridge the gap between engineering, medicine, and biology. In this research field biomedical engineers use mathematical and computational tools to model the human body to obtain a deeper understanding of how the body functions and to determine clinical outcomes. These scientific, engineering researchers also develop instruments to advance biological research.

Stem cell research is another scientific research field that is expected to branch out increasingly to engineering. Although on the surface the function of a stem cell researcher is to examine biological structures exclusively, the aforementioned areas of future research possibilities, suggest that the future will see stem cell researchers and engineers working closely together. Some examples may be the increased use of ‘living prosthetics’ on human bodies or the use of inorganic structures to house biological substance. Still a bit of science fiction involved but not so much so when one considers the extraordinary developments of the past few years.


Pure science research

Disease control and virology are other areas in which demand for good researchers is continuing. The main drivers of demand are the increasing prevalence of super-bugs and the increased uses of bio terrorism. The combination of a super-bug, or even a more traditional bug (the smallpox virus still lives in two labs in the world), and biological warfare could be as devastating to the world as a nuclear bomb. As such continued research into the development and containment of viruses is imperative to human existence.

It is surprising to note that viruses serve beneficial purposes as well. Because they are directed by evolution they can actually be tailored to suit a variety of purposes. In fact, because of their size, shape, and well-defined chemical structures, viruses have been used as templates for organizing materials on the nanoscale. For example the protein coat of the tobacco mosaic virus has been explored extensively for the construction of nanoscale architectures. This type of research is ongoing and rapidly increasing and again shows crossover between science and technology. The opportunities for qualified researcher in these areas are phenomenal.
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"Scientists investigate that which already is;
Engineers create that which has never been.''
Albert Einstein
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tHIS month’s NUMERO UNO job interview TIP:

Show off! You are applying for a job as a biological engineering researcher. You must have the experience and education behind you to have made it this far. Now is not the time for modesty. Nor is it time to be bashful. Your resume and your interview are your opportunity to show off your credentials. No employer will appreciate knowing you are humble and quiet more than they will appreciate knowing what a pivotal player you were in the development of a particularly clever hypothesis, or that you were instrumental in a groundbreaking new development or process.

It feels awkward for most of us to set ourselves upon a pedestal and most of the time that is a good thing, but not now. Unless you sing your own praises your employer won’t know what you are capable of achieving. Chances are that you will want to downplay your own part in any team effort. Again, don’t do it, now is the time to extol your own virtues and put forward every little contribution you made as something special and significant.
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“An inefficient virus kills its host. A clever virus stays with it.
James Lovelock.”
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