The scientist whose company first mapped the human genome has formed a company to create life. “We are in an era of rapid advances in science and are beginning the transition from being able to not only read genetic code, but are now moving to the early stages of being able to write the code,” said J. Craig Venter. The initial goal of Synthetic Genomics will be to manufacture organisms which perform specific functions. Man-made genes will be the “design components of the future”, Venter says. A number of ethical and safety issues hang over the notion of synthetic life, but Venter appears to believe that if the work benefits mankind and is performed in a responsible manner, it would be acceptable.
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