Genomics, Synthetic Biology, and Sequencing the Ocean with Craig Venter

Craig Venter founded Celera Genomics and led the team that produced one of the first draft sequences of the human genome through the technique of shotgun sequencing, showing up the taxpayer-funded Human Genome Project by completing the sequence three years before their target date.

More recently, he created the partially synthetic species Mycoplasma laboratorium as a step toward completely synthetic life. He led the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition, which showed that the genomic diversity of the Earth’s oceans was many times greater than previously estimated. He has published his own DNA sequence and made a browser available to explore it.

Venter’s other interests include extending the human healthy lifespan and transmitting life across interplanetary and interstellar distances in the form of genomic instructions to a universal synthesis machine.