Biotechnology in Life and on TV

On Showtime's hit show Dexter, main character Dexter Morgan works as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department and moonlights as a serial killer of criminals. Guess you could say he cleans up the city in more ways than one. In his day job, his technical expertise allows the cops to understand a crime scene – the movement of a victim during bloodshed, the sequence of events, the position of the killer and victim, and so on.

Dexter, the blood spatter analyst

And, of course, it probably helps him a little in his night job, too – in covering his tracks and getting rid of evidence, especially. Murder aside though, how does someone get to be a blood spatter expert? Obviously there’s training and education involved … perhaps one way to get there may be through a biotechnology program.

What’s biotechnology? In a nutshell, it’s biology enhanced by the use of technology. It’s used a lot in agriculture, medicine and food science, but also in forensics, like with our friend Dexter here. Think cloning and genetic research, crop production, disease research, pharmaceuticals, and DNA analysis (like from blood!).  So really, there are a lot of different paths, if you’re willing to throw around a lot of technical-sounding words and potentially work with some delicate living organisms. It’s a pretty precise line of work for sure.

Ultimately, biotechnology helps further our resources and scientific understanding in a lot of areas. It helps us develop medicine and gene therapy techniques to treat disease, clean up industrial contamination, and grow crops that can withstand a variety of environmental issues without pumping them full of fertilizers and pesticides.

So, biotechnologists can work a lot of places and do a lot of good for mankind – even at a crime scene, like Dexter … but without that whole serial killer thing.

Learn more about the biotechnology program at Medtech in Indiana. You can concentrate in the areas of Bioterrorism or Forensics.

*this photo was retrieved from on 8/22/2011

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