If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Manufacturing Life | J. Craig Venter

In a mind-blowing interview with the Atlantic Magazine's James Bennet, J. Craig Venter shares some of projects he is currently working on and what he foresees in the future. Included in his work today are biological teleporters and robots that will conduct biological experiments on their own.

Venter, CEO of Synthetic Genomics, talks about finding genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, food and vaccines.

Dr. Venter and his team at JCVI continue to blaze new trails in genomics. They have sequenced and analyzed hundreds of genomes, and have published numerous important papers covering such areas as environmental genomics, the first complete diploid human genome, and the groundbreaking advance in creating the first self- replicating bacterial cell constructed entirely with synthetic DNA.

Dr. Venter is one of the most frequently cited scientists, and the author of more than 250 research articles. He is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, public honors, and scientific awards, including the 2008 United States National Medal of Science, the 2002 Gairdner Foundation International Award, the 2001 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize and the King Faisal International Award for Science. Dr. Venter is a member of numerous prestigious scientific organizations including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Society for Microbiology.

In the interview, Venter comments that we are only at the early stages of understanding biology. He is is currently working on what he labels biological teleportation systems that will allow for cells to travel at the speed of light. Based on 3D printing technology, the new systems will in Venter's words, "is going to disrupt the entire system."

"It is a merging of the digital and the biological," states Venter. "You will be able to download insulin from the internet" and new diseases will be sequenced and cured in hours with the treatments dispersed digitally.

"Movies like Contagion will never happen" —he says.

Venter also comments on what we can expect in the future. "We are going to learn fundamental biology faster than it was ever thought possible."

His current projects include all aspects of technology from AI to genome sequencing. "We are building a self-learning robot that can learn biology 10,000 times faster than a scientist can. It can learn from the iterative experiments and make the changes and redo them."

Truly Venter is at the forefront of a biological revolution and the interview is a must-watch.

Source: 33rd Square - J. Craig Venter Discusses Biological Teleportation

Manufacturing Life with J. Craig Venter

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