Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Ideas, New Fuels: Craig Venter at the Oxonian

July 30, 2008 Link
The man who mapped the human genome has a new focus: using microbes to create alternative fuels. Craig Venter, maverick biologist, wants to cure our addiction to oil. To do so, he proposes creating a designer microbe -- the heart of a biological engine -- from scratch, then adding genes culled from the sea to turn crops such as switch grass and cornstalks into ethanol.

This could prompt a major shift in the economics of the energy industry and in the process bring Venter to a secondary goal: showing the world he can be as successful as he was at sequencing human DNA. Venter, a former Vietnam medic, brought about a paradigm shift in genomic sequencing that has entered him in the mythology of science.

He wanted to play God, so he cracked the human genome. Now he wants to play Darwin and collect the DNA of everything on the planet. Venter has graced the covers of Time and BusinessWeek - The Oxonian Society

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