Forum:Future prospects: NGS vs Gene editing (using CRISPR CAS9, AAVs and similar methods)
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3.2 years ago
Gabriel ▴ 110

What is going to be the better of the two employment wise in the coming decades? I know Both are incredibly strong and growing, but that NGS is more recent, whereas Gene Editing has more medical applications and thus draws big money from big pharma.

Which one is a wiser bet for a future career plan?

Forum NGS CRISPR-Cas9 • 805 views
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I would not say that gene editing has more medical applications. In contrasts, a clinically-approved NGS-based diagnostic is rather "easy" to use and has generic applications. A well-established NGS pipeline can be applied routinely to patients during standard diagnostic, and whenever thing can be standardized they become economic, therefore generate income. CRISPR on the other hand is complex, currently by best knowledge no reliable / gold standard delivery agents to reliable target all relevant cells in a multicellular organism exist, it is by far not ready for a routine application in patients, needs to be tailored to every disease / clinical situation, not even speaking of the legal issues. Right now, I vote for NGS even though it is difficult to give a good advice in a few lines.

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I don’t think either is better than the other. One is more wetlab heavy than the other (gene editing), so it’s probably more dependent on your goals and skillset.

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I think I have an immunity against wetlab, because it bores me to do the tedious labor. I was hoping Gene editing had more theory and bioinformatics in it(predicting Cas9 offset targets, designing the primers and PCR for gene editing tests) just like RNA-seq. But If it's more hours in the wetlab than not I will probably not choose it as career.

Do you have an idea of which one will be earning a higher salary?

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CRISPR requires many hours in the lab. It is not difficult but do not fall for people telling you it is "fast and easy", it is not. Cloning, virus production, cell transfection, cell culture / maintenance, screening clones (sometimes hundreds of them, depends on the system and the cells), verifying clones, genotyping, etc... If you do not like the lab, stay away from it. Lot of tedious s* work ;-)

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Salaries are roughly equivalent as far as I’m aware. Postdoc level informaticians are paid much the same as postdoc level wetlab. There’s no such thing as a ‘gene editing’ imformaticians really. Those skills you describe are something most should be able to design/learn if you’re a bioinformatician.

If you really want to make money in science, you need to move in to industry (in either case), or start your own company.

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I think I have an immunity against wetlab, because it bores me to do the tedious labor.

Even if this was an off-hand comment, it's tough to see how what you described meets the description of "having an immunity." Can't account for all the experiences out there, but lab research never felt tedious or like labor to me or people I worked with over the years.

If salary is an important consideration for you, bioinformatics jobs probably pay better on average, and the gap is likely to widen in the future because in that field the supply is less likely to match the increased demand.

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As a predominantly wetlab scientist, I still enjoy it, but it is without question tedious and boring, at least at times - and I do my utmost to avoid tedious experiments...

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