Craig Venter: On the Verge of Creating Synthetic Life

“Can we create new life out of our digital universe?” Craig Venter asks. His answer is “yes” – and pretty soon. He walks us through his latest research and promises that we’ll soon be able to build and boot up a synthetic chromosome. — From TED.COM

This is fascinating and very thought provoking in my humble opinion. The research has generated a lot of discussion and a great many questions. Its potential is enormous, its implications profound. I hope you enjoy this TED Talk as much as I did.

About Craig Venter

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  1. avatarSteven Erikson says

    iii) To Craig Vinter

    Listen to this crow
    Synthetic life
    A novel pared down
    To minimal array
    Of words

    Nothing unreal, really
    A mere sleight of hand
    Patent pending
    In crib notes

    We can make you
    All over again
    Doctor percentage points
    Your eminent brain

    The crow is insane
    Croaking ownership
    Of novel words
    In the endless tale
    Of living

    Ancillary rights
    Easy as plucked feathers
    Hovering hunched
    Over blood coffers
    In sweet stream

    Your cock is owned
    Tumours fought over
    To the advancement
    Of unruly evolution

    Still and all I invite
    Your synthetic soul
    And its twisted helices
    Divided hubris

    I make you new
    Idiocy ironed out
    Plucking away notions
    Of maddening

    With this teleomere
    I make a grave call
    To ghosts and angels
    To hunt down and rip apart
    Your soul

    You cannot own
    What owns you
    Nudged into differentiation
    To give us semblance
    No two the same

    That you can
    Does not convey right
    What you do abuses
    The very notion
    Of privilege

    The crow is now host
    To truncated bacteria
    The synthetic semantic lie
    Proclaiming future health
    From minimized life

    Now you stalk
    The withered reeds
    Fringing the gene pool
    Feeding worms new rules
    So instructive

    But they will correct you
    In the end
    With trademark vigour
    You never thought to tag
    For posterity

    Brittle existence
    Disregards synthetic souls
    Easily broken yet profound
    In self-repair and for you
    Pure contempt

    As there you preen
    Behind the stumps of mikes
    The blinking eyes of tape running
    I copyright every word
    You loose

    There are secrets
    To breath and air
    Your mad kin will patent
    Cornering the chemical exchange
    Greed bright

    Justifying my investment
    Listening to your rubbish
    Pallid puffs of gusting zeal
    The head long rush of your claims
    Of immortality pending

    The crow covets
    What is not his in exclusion
    In white lab coat turning taps
    Maintaining the steady flow
    Of private funding

    This one is not alone
    In seeking to own letters
    To words and stories and confessions
    Of saints and sinners unbound
    With amoral intent

    And if towering outrage
    Is met with his blank stare
    An incomprehension unmitigated
    Trust his soft-hand backers
    Are not as innocent

    But I do not swallow
    The brow-lifting disclaimer
    The dissembling of the disassembler
    He knows the face of avarice
    As his own

    And ponders not once
    On gloomy afternoons
    Beyond the calculated mirror glass
    Armouring the unidentified fortress
    Evil nature

    Cold and clinical the crow
    Cagey with angled mathematics
    He wears a halo doubling
    As the sly helix of creation
    Showing us for free
    God’s own smile

    Worship him not.

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