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What is a Life Scientist?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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A life scientist focuses on the study of living organisms. There are many types of careers a person with this title may pursue because of the many different types of organisms to study. For example, a life scientist may focus on the study of plants, concentrate on studying animals, or work with the human immune system. Though these types of science may differ from each other, they all fall under the heading of life science; even some types of science teachers may be considered life scientists.

In many cases, a life scientist concentrates on a highly-focused specialty rather than studying science in general. One person in this field may work as a geneticist or focus on the study of birds while another may concentrate on studying parasites. Some life scientists may choose to study a particular organ or body system while others may study cells. There are also some life scientists that study how living organisms interact with their environments while others focus on the effects medications have on human beings and animals. A person in this field may even study or develop food additives.

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Life scientists often work to help improve society. This improvement may come in the form of developing better medicines or discovering cures for deadly diseases. It may also involve helping people to eat better and experience better overall health. It can also include developing ways to keep human beings from contributing to animal extinction. Of course, bettering society also can include such areas as stimulating scientific interest in students who may one day go on to become life scientists themselves. This is part of how life science teachers can help to improve society.

A person who wants to become a life scientist usually graduates from high school or earns a general educational development (GED) credential in preparation for this field. Typically, the minimum level of education an aspiring life scientist needs is a bachelor's degree in the life science of his choice. Many people who are interested in life science careers earn master's or even doctoral degrees as well. These advanced-level degrees may make landing jobs easier and may also afford a life scientist more opportunities for advancement. Additionally, a person who wants to become a life science professor will usually need a doctoral degree if he hopes to secure a tenured position.

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