Craig Venter life and biography

Craig Venter picture, image, poster

Craig Venter biography

Date of birth : 1946-10-14
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-15
Credited as : Biologist, created the first cell with a synthetic genome, founded Celera Genomics

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John Craig Venter (born October 14, 1946) is an American biologist and entrepreneur, most famous for his role in being one of the first to sequence the human genome and for his role in creating the first cell with a synthetic genome in 2010.

Venter founded Celera Genomics, The Institute for Genomic Research and the J. Craig Venter Institute, now working at the latter to create synthetic biological organisms and to document genetic diversity in the world's oceans. He was listed on Time magazine's 2007 and 2008 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2010, the British magazine New Statesman listed Craig Venter at 14th in the list of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010".

Craig Venter developed a new technique to identify unknown genes in other organisms, cells, or tissues, using small segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) called expressed sequence tags (ESTs). He then attempted to patent the gene fragments identified through this technique, a move considered controversial in scientific circles.

In 1995 Venter's team determined the genomic sequence of Haemophilus influenzae, a bacterium that can cause meningitis. In 2000 Venter's team announced that it had determined a "rough draft" sequence of the human genome, work which was completed three years later. In 2007 he announced the first successful mapping of the complete (six-billion-letter) genome of an individual human — his own diploid (two complete sets of chromosomes, one from each parent) genome.

In 2010, Venter's team announced that he and his team had sewn together strands of DNA to create the first man-made bacterial cell, Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0. After insertion of his synthetically-designed genome, the cell created proteins according to the blueprint in the synthetic genome, and continued acting as a normal bacterial cell.

Venter has also contributed to the sequencing of the genomes of the fruit fly, mouse, and rat, and he is the founder or co-founder of The Institute for Genomic Research (1992), Celera Genomics (1998), Synthetic Genomics (2005), and the J. Craig Venter Research Institute (2006). Critics and colleagues have described Venter as an egomaniac; his response is: "I wouldn't have mapped the human genome if I was lacking in confidence."

Author of books:
-Monoclonal and Anti-Idiotypic Antibodies (1984, with Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, Jon Lindstrom)
-Structure and Physiology of the Slow Inward Calcium Channel (1987, with D. J. Triggle)
-Target-Size Analysis of Membrane Proteins (1987, with Chan Jung)
-A Life Decoded: My Genome, My Life (2007, memoir)

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