The Scientist Who First Sequenced the Human Genome

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One of the great landmarks in the history of science – and of humanity – occurred when J. Craig Venter published the first sequence and analysis of the human genome. What made this event so remarkable was not just the accomplishment, but the fact that it was achieved faster and for less money than the government-sponsored Human Genome Project. A Life Decoded is the story of how the human genome was mapped and the politics of big science.

A Life Decoded is available for purchase at

Weigh in: Would you want to be able to read your genome?


J. Craig Venter
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Comments [3]

Bruce Basile from Glen Cove, NY

That genomes show similarities in various life forms is not proof of evolution. In fact, one might suggest that it proves that we were created by the same intelligent being. We should have certain similarities. Without looking at genomes, any honest person would admit that there are a lot of differences. I don't ignore science. In fact, my son and I love science. You don't have to believe in evolution to love science. Just don't say that it proves what it doesn't prove. However, if you and Dr. Venter want to believe that you evolved from fruit flies I won't burst your bubble.

Oct. 31 2007 05:41 PM
David Harrington from Morningside Heights

I have a student who is writing an essay on the ethics of genetic screening and the efficacy of this procedure in producing humans free of genetic defects like Tay Sachs. Can your guest comment on this in terms of practicality and ethics as far as his research allows?

Oct. 30 2007 01:08 PM
Tom from Chelsea

I understand the guest's NEW project (or perhaps just an adjunct to a sailing hobby?) involves collecting sea water to screen the genetic diversity across our oceans.

Would you ask him to tell us a little about that and how he thinks this may translate into applications for medicine, and how far off that might be?

Oct. 30 2007 01:00 PM

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