Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Talk Not To Be Missed.

We had the honor and privilege to hear Craig Venter talk On Nov 12th. He is an ex surfer turned scientist and a Vietnam war veteran. He began his academic career at a community college, after enlisting in the U.S. Navy and serving a tour of duty during the Vietnam War. He contemplated suicide at one point by swimming out into the sea, but was persuaded to return upon encountering a shark.

He's also the mastermind behind the Human Genome Project.

In a recent interview with New Scientist when asked 'Assuming you can make synthetic bacteria, what will you do with them?' Venter replied

'Over the next 20 years, synthetic genomics is going to become the standard for making anything. The chemical industry will depend on it. Hopefully, a large part of the energy industry will depend on it. We really need to find an alternative to taking carbon out of the ground, burning it, and putting it into the atmosphere. That is the single biggest contribution I could make.'
The article suggests that one of the main purposes for creating synthetic bacteria would be to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. (Source: New Scientist Issue 2626 Pg 57.)

This will be one of the most important talks I will post here.

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