I Provide Your Grandparents with Designer Drugs.

Essay by ExoHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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After a week of delay holding us back from an event that, to us, was something not many students had a chance to do, everything finally worked out and we spent our last period surveying Pennsylvania State University's new York branch website. The site was decent, and it carried a lot of good information with it, but that was not the significance of the visit when all was said and done. As a seemingly random comment, the liaison from PSU's York campus told us that if we wanted a really good career to get into, it was bioinformatics. He did not describe much why this was a great choice, but he said that it was a terrific path for us to take. I had heard this told to me before by my dad, but I did not take it seriously until I heard it again, especially from a professor.

The thing that really made me think about it was that I had heard it twice and both times seemed completely out of the blue. Then it hit me; we were programmers. This was the Computer Programming II class, some of the best people with computers in the school, and that is why we were in the adult education rooms in the administration wing that afternoon. But why would someone tell this to programmers? After a bit of research I found my answer.

The core of the bioinformatics industry lends itself to programming. These companies write software that performs the big pharmaceutical companies' dirty work faster and easier than if it were done by hand, if it can be done in absence of the technology that bioinformatics creates. Pharmaceutical companies have deep pockets, possibly because a huge percentage of the population is using the prescription drugs that these companies make,