Toxicology is often referred to as the “Science of Safety” – toxicologists use the power of science to test and predict how various chemicals may cause harm. These scientists typically have a strong understanding of science and biology – working primarily in laboratory settings to study the effects and proper doses of substances ranging from pesticides to prescription drugs. Toxicologists play a key role in protecting public health, the environment and animal welfare.
Not all formulas are created equal—formulation requires a blend of both art and science. Formulation chemists study substances that do not react with each other—but have advantageous effects as a mixture; examples include pesticides, fertilizers, paints, cosmetics, etc. These scientists are curious about not only how a formula can be improved chemically, but how it can better serve both farmers’ and consumers’ evolving needs.
The number one cause of crop loss is fungi. Preventing crop loss is critical to our food supply, the food supply of production animals and our economy – which is why fungicide chemists are critical to farm production. Fungicide chemists formulate fungicides that prevent and kill harmful fungal parasites and diseases that pose a threat to crops and plants. They study chemical compounds to identify toxins that manage fungi and won’t harm plants, while adhering to environmental regulations.
From blue jeans to insulin, chemistry is responsible for many of history’s most important scientific breakthroughs. As the detectives of the chemistry field, analytical chemists identify substances and how they behave. Their work is used in many industries both in and outside the laboratory – you can find analytical chemists working in forensic labs identifying evidence, in environmental labs testing for toxins and pollutants or in the animal pharmaceutical field developing new drugs to improve our pets’ health.
Comparing biochemists to biophysicists is like comparing apples to oranges – or actually – atoms to molecules. Biochemists study molecular functions, such as how cells metabolize chemical compounds, like food and medicine. Biophysicists focus on atomic functions, and how the laws of physics affect biology, like the effect of zero gravity on plants and animals.
Chemical engineers are in the business of making chemical manufacturing safe and efficient. They design chemical plant equipment and create processes for chemicals and products that are essential to everyday manufacturing—gasoline, rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper and more. And they do it all by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics and engineering.
Chemical technicians are the backbone of chem-related fields. Their technical prowess in the lab contributes to research and development of new products and processes, quality control, environmental standards and more. They’re right in the center of experimentation—hands-on in the discovery process.
Chemists are the leaders in the lab, with the ability to think both qualitatively and quantitatively. Known for their high quality standards, they produce chemical analyses that allow us to continually discover and deepen our knowledge about the world we live in. We only get one Earth—and with a chemist’s help—we understand it more deeply and can make better decisions for how we treat it.
You’ve probably heard of virtual reality, but how about virtual chemistry? Computational chemists conduct research and experiments virtually, using computer simulations to build and study chemicals and their behavior. This allows scientists to perform experiments that would otherwise be too dangerous, impractical or expensive to conduct—making research more efficient and paving the way for new discoveries and innovations.
How are living things impacted by environmental pollutants? How is food converted into energy? Biochemistry programs study the chemical reactions, processes and components of living things – such as photosynthesis, cellular respiration, fertilization, protein structure and neural processes. Graduates of these programs can pursue careers in a variety of industries, including the agricultural, medical, industrial, governmental and environmental fields.
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