The military conducts studies of human and animal diseases to understand their causes and to find treatments. Harmful pests and bacteria are studied to find ways to protect people and food against illness or infection.
Life scientists study the biology and chemistry of living organisms.
What They Do
Life scientists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Study bacteria and parasites to determine how they invade and affect humans or animals
- Study the effects of diseases, poisons, and radiation on laboratory animals
- Study the effects of drugs, chemicals, and gases on living organisms
- Study ways of protecting humans through immunization from disease
- Direct blood banks and study blood chemistry
- Study the effects of aerospace flight, temperature, and movement on human physiology
- Study food storage and handling methods
- Study ways of keeping bases and ships free from pests and contagious diseases
- Conduct experiments and write technical reports
Helpful fields of study include biochemistry, biology, microbiology, and pharmacology. Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely
- Interest in mathematics, chemistry, biology, and medical research
- Interest in scientific work
No initial job training is provided to officers in this occupation. However, advanced courses are available in some specialties.
Life scientists work in medical, clinical, and research laboratories and, at times, in food processing or storage plants.
They may work outdoors while conducting field work on land or aboard ships.
Civilian life scientists work for universities, government agencies, medical laboratories, blood banks, pharmaceutical firms, chemical companies, or in private practice. They
perform duties similar to those performed by military life scientists.
Depending on their specialty, civilian life scientists may be called biochemists, biologists, entomologists, immunologists, medical technologists, pharmacologists, physiologists, toxicologists, or veterinarians.