Shelli DeRobertis 5:08 p.m., June 19
Now Venter Wants to Create Algae That Could Replace Fossil Fuels
The New York Times gives a big writeup today (Sept. 5) to the attempt by Dr. J. Craig Venter to create living creatures -- bacteria, algae, or plants -- that are designed from DNA. Venter wants these living creatures "to carry out industrial tasks and displace the fuels and chemicals that are now made from fossil fuels," says the Times. Venter is doing this from a San Diego company, Synthetic Genomics. He earlier stirred up controversy when his company Celera Genomics "nearly left the federally funded Human Genome Project in the dust in the race to determine the complete sequence of DNA in human chromosomes. He garnered admiration for some path-breaking ideas but also the enmity of some scientific rivals who viewed him as a publicity seeker," says the Times. His company has gathered $110 million in investment.