In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create "synthetic life" - putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting phase of biological research, one that will enable us to actually write the genetic code for designing new species to help us adapt and evolve for long-term survival. The science of synthetic genomics will have a profound impact on human existence, including chemical and energy generation, health, clean water and food production, environmental control, and possibly even our evolution.
"Very technical book, not for the average listener"
Biologist, author and businessman Craig Venter discusses his work mapping and synthesizing genomes. Venter recalls his work mapping the human genome and expands on his current work which includes categorizing new genes and species of microbes from ocean water. Venter also explains how microbial research can be used for metabolic engineering and alternative energy sources.
"Easily absorbed by non scientists"
Growing up in California, J. Craig Venter didn't appear to have much of a future. An unremarkable student, he nearly flunked out of high school. After being drafted into the army, he enlisted in the Navy and went to Vietnam, where the life-and-death struggles he encountered as a medic piqued his interest in science and medicine. After pursuing his advanced degrees, Venter quickly established himself as a brilliant and outspoken scientist.
"Take it with a Grain of Salt"