J. Craig Venter on Synthetic Genomics and the Future

Monday, October 21, 2013

J. Craig Venter J. Craig Venter (Brett Shipe)

Renowned scientist J. Craig Venter explains the new field of synthetic genomics, detailing its origins, current challenges and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. In 2010, scientists led by Venter became the first to successfully create “synthetic life,” and  he looks at how it can lead to chemical and energy generation, health, clean water and food production, and possibly even our own evolution. In Life at the Speed of Light, Venter presents a study of this emerging field from the inside.


J. Craig Venter

Comments [8]


Could have been a great interview if Mr. Venter was not constantly interrupted by LL's irrelevant comments.

Oct. 22 2013 07:12 AM
Peter Talbot from Harrison NJ

Great interview. Aside from the moral hand-wringing about Frankenfood et al, I am relieved to hear that we microbes continue to try to use our few creative energies to understand the biosphere. Here's hoping that the public trough will continue to serve such efforts going forward.

Oct. 21 2013 01:43 PM
Amy from Manhattan

ph: Yes. I'd like to see the precautionary principle applied in these cases! But that seems to be less likely the more money there is to be made.

Oct. 21 2013 12:53 PM

They barely understand what all the genes do now. Now they combining genes and making synthetic life that they only understand at the first order (not 2nd or 3rd or higher order) yet these guys sound as if they do. The problem with GMO crops is exactly this + they say it's all magically safe.

Oct. 21 2013 12:35 PM

Doesn't Monsanto's process enable gene transfer?
It seems that GMO foods enables confusion in the genetic codes of those who consume it - - such as gut bacteria.

Oct. 21 2013 12:35 PM
Amy from Manhattan

"Meat without a mother" may get around the concerns of (some) vegetarians, but I don't see any reason to believe it would be any healthier than meat from animals, based on either its fat content or the new findings about the role of carnitine in heart disease? And how would the effects on the environment of producing meat this way compare to those of the meat industry of today? (Now, that would be *real* factory farming!)

Oct. 21 2013 12:34 PM
John A

It would be interesting to hear Mr Venter and Bill McKibben in debate.
'We can create new species to do what we want them do do not what evolution tells them.' -- J. Craig Venter, 20-May-2010
...sound too much like the entrepreneur in 'Jurassic Park' to me.

Oct. 21 2013 12:32 PM
J from nj

Designing new life seems like such a reckless proposition. So much science seems to be done just because it can be done... Can your guest acknowledge that there may be dangers to creating new organisms on this already teeming planet?

Oct. 21 2013 12:25 PM

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