What is a Cytogenetic Technologist?

Also known as: Clinical Cytogeneticist Scientist.

Cytogenetics is the study of the cell's genetic material, in particular the structure and arrangement of DNA molecules and genes.

A cytogenetic technologist is someone who prepares, examines, and analyzes chromosomes found in blood, amniotic fluids, and bone marrow in order to diagnose and treat genetic diseases and disorders.

The work can vary with anything from congenital birth defects, fertility problems and hematological disorders, to locating the genetic influence for a potentially developing disease in an adult.

What does a Cytogenetic Technologist do?

Some congenital diseases are related to an abnormality in the number of chromosomes, while others result from missing parts of certain chromosomes. Working with microscopes and other medical imaging tools, cytogenetic technologists track and analyze samples of bodily fluids, blood, tissue, chromosomes cells and other genetic matter. They use various techniques to analyze patients' chromosomal structures, such as karyotyping, florescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and other techniques.

Some responsibilities of a cytogenetic technologist include:

  • slide preparation
  • microscopy
  • photomicroscopy
  • computer image analysis
  • karyotyping
  • culturing and harvesting
  • record-keeping
  • research report writing

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What is the workplace of a Cytogenetic Technologist like?

Cytogenetic technologists can find work in hospitals, clinics, private laboratories, research laboratories, educational institutions, public health facilities, and government facilities. They are often seated for long periods of time while they perform their duties.

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Further Reading

  • What We Do - Cytogenetic Technologists www.agt-info.org

    We cover many areas of genetics - both human and non-human - as well as research and clinical genetics. It's not possible to cover all of the work that we do, but the following is a description of the two larger bodies of genetic technologists and their accountabilities.

  • Cytogenetic Technologist www.gostudy.net

    Cytogenetic technologists are laboratory specialists who study normal and abnormal chromosomes in cells, and their relationship to disease and human development. These include birth defects, fertility problems and blood disorders.

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