Biochemists and biophysicists do applied research and develop products and processes that improve our lives. For example, in medicine, biochemists and biophysicists develop tests used to detect diseases, genetic disorders, and other illnesses. They also develop new drugs and medications, such as those used to treat cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. Applied research in biochemistry and biophysics has many uses outside of medicine. In agriculture, biochemists and biophysicists develop genetically engineered crops that are more resistant to drought, disease, insects, and other afflictions. Biochemists and biophysicists also develop alternative fuels, such as biofuels—renewable energy sources from plants. In addition, they develop ways to protect the environment and clean up pollution. Biochemists and biophysicists need a Ph.D. to work in independent research and development positions. Most Ph.D. holders begin their careers in a temporary postdoctoral research position, which typically lasts 2 to 3 years. Bachelor’s and master’s degree holders are qualified for some entry-level positions in biochemistry and biophysics.