Quotes

62 Craig Venter Quotes On Diseases And Development

The Vietnam War totally turned my life around. Some people’s lives were eliminated or destroyed by the experience. I was one of the fortunate few who came out better off.

Accuracy in the genetic field will be essential. Errors in testing could be disastrous.

Part of the problem with the discovery of the so-called breast-cancer genes was that physicians wrongly told women that had the genetic changes associated with the genes that they had a 99% chance of getting breast cancer. Turns out all women that have these genetic changes don’t get breast cancer.

Intellectual property is a key aspect for economic development.

Creating life at the speed of light is part of a new industrial revolution. Manufacturing will shift from centralised factories to a distributed, domestic manufacturing future, thanks to the rise of 3D printer technology.

A doctor can save maybe a few hundred lives in a lifetime. A researcher can save the whole world.

I naively thought that we could have a molecular definition for life, come up with a set of genes that would minimally define life. Nature just refuses to be so easily quantified.

I was a surf bum wannabe. I left home at age 17 and moved to Southern California to try to take up surfing as a vocation, but this was in 1964, and there was this nasty little thing called the Vietnam War. As a result, I got drafted.

Mitochondrial DNA is in higher concentration, lasts longer, and can be extracted from bones

Life is a DNA software system

There are still so many questions to answer about the workings of the human body and, most mysterious of all, it is influenced by our state of mind

Privacy with medical information is a fallacy. If everyone’s information is out there, it’s part of the collective.

We need 10,000 genomes, not 100, to start to understand the link between genetics, disease and wellness.

I’ve always been fascinated with adrenaline; it’s saved my life more than once, and it’s caused me to need it to save my life more than once. One of the most fascinating responses in human evolution, adrenaline sharpens your brain; it sharpens your responses.

Since my own genome was sequenced, my software has been broadcast into space in the form of electromagnetic waves, carrying my genetic information far beyond Earth. Whether there is any creature out there capable of making sense of the instructions in my genome, well, that’s another question.

Sailing is a big outlet for me. It’s one of the key things I’ve been able to do by commingling science with sailing and my love of the sea. Also, I have several motorcycles, and I like to go on motorcycle trips.

The rich agricultural nations are the ones that can adapt to the new biotechnologies.

I think I’m a survivor. I could have suffered at least 100 professional deaths. I could come up with a list of the 100 times I’ve come closest to death, from having pneumonia as a child to car crashes.

Preventative medicine has to be the direction we go in. For example, if colon cancer is detected early – because a person knew he had a genetic risk and was having frequent exams – the surgery is relatively inexpensive and average survival is far greater than 10 years.

I am not sure our brains and our psychologies are ready for immortality.

It turns out synthesizing DNA is very difficult. There are tens of thousands of machines around the world that make small pieces of DNA – 30 to 50 letters in length – and it’s a degenerate process, so the longer you make the piece, the more errors there are.

I see, in the future, bioengineered almost everything you can imagine that we use.

If I had a weak ego, and doubts about this, the first genome would not yet have been completed with US and UK government funding.

My complaint is that there are more books and news articles than there are primary scientific papers. I am probably the biggest critic of the hypesters, because it’s dangerous when fields get overhyped.

Most people don’t realize it, because they’re invisible, but microbes make up about a half of the Earth’s biomass, whereas all animals only make up about one one-thousandth of all the biomass.

Genome design is going to be a key part of the future. That’s why we need fast, cheap, accurate DNA synthesis, so you can make a lot of iterations of something and test them.

People equate patents with secrecy, that secrecy is what patents were designed to overcome. That’s why the formula for Coca-Cola was never patented. They kept it as a trade secret, and they’ve outlasted patent laws by 80 years or more.

The photosynthesis we see with plants is not very efficient. Algaes are more efficient.

How we understand our own selves and how we work with our DNA software has implications that will affect everything from vaccine development to new approaches to antibiotics, new sources of food, new sources of chemicals, even potentially new sources of energy.

I am absolutely certain that life can exist in outer space, move around, find a new aqueous environment.

My genetic autobiography can be found throughout my body.

Sometime in the future, I am a hundred percent certain scientists will sit down at a computer terminal, design what they want the organism to do, and build it.

If you have lung cancer, the most important thing you can know is your genetic code.

Perfect pitch is genetic. It’s 100% genetic.

I’ve had a very unusual background in science – not the usual route of planning on being a scientist from age 3. I think my story shows that success is more about personal motivation and determination than it is about where you were born or what your economic status was. Craig Venter

Even though people pretend that medical records are privileged information, anyone can already get their hands on them

We can create new food substances.

Patents are basically rights to try and develop a commercial product

Science should be the most fun job on the planet. You get to ask questions about the world around you and go out and seek the answers. Not to have fun doing that is crazy.

Even though people pretend that medical records are privileged information, anyone can already get their hands on them.

The environment has fallen to the wayside in politics.

I’ve gotten some pretty nice awards. I’m having trouble finding places to put them all.

I am confident that life once thrived on Mars and may well still exist there today.

Nobel prizes are very special prizes, and it would be great to get one.

The trouble is the field of science, medicine, universities, biotech companies – you name it – have been so splintered, layers, sub-divided, hacked that people can spend their entire career studying one tiny little cog of life.

We find all kinds of species that have taken up a second chromosome or a third one from somewhere, adding thousands of new traits in a second to that species. So, people who think of evolution as just one gene changing at a time have missed much of biology.

If I could change the science system, my prescription for changing the whole thing would be organising it around big goals and building teams to do it.

We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before.

When you think of all the things that are made from oil or in the chemical industry, if in the future we could find cells to replace most of those processes, the ideal way would be to do it by direct design. Craig Venter
One of the fundamental discoveries I made about myself – early enough to make use of it – was that I am driven to seize life and to understand it. The motor that pushes me is propelled by more than scientific curiosity.

The fact that I have a risk genetically for Alzheimer’s and blindness is not great news. But the reality is that any one of us will have dozens of these risks, and what we have to learn is how to deal with them.

The fact that I have a risk genetically for Alzheimer’s and blindness is not great news. But the reality is that any one of us will have dozens of these risks, and what we have to learn is how to deal with them.

The Janus-like nature of innovation – its responsible use and so on – was evident at the very birth of human ingenuity, when humankind first discovered how to make fire on demand.

I turned 65 last year, and each year I get more and more interested in human health. For most people it happens around age 50, but I’ve always been a slow learner. It’s critical in terms of the cost of health care

Synthetic biology can help address key challenges facing the planet and its population. Research in synthetic biology may lead to new things such as programmed cells that self-assemble at the sites of disease to repair damage.

We have 200 trillion cells, and the outcome of each of them is almost 100 percent genetically determined. And that’s what our experiment with the first synthetic genome proves, at least in the case of really simple bacteria. It’s the interactions of all those separate genetic units that give us the physiology that we see.\

The future of society is 100% dependent on scientific advances.

You’d need a very specialized electron microscope to get down to the level to actually see a single strand of DNA.

I have this idea of trying to catalog all the genes on the planet.

We can do genetics. We can do experiments on fruit flies. We can do experiments on yeast. It’s not so easy to do experiments on humans. So, in fact, it helps us, to interpret our own genetic code, to have the genetic code of the other species.

I’ve made money by just trying to do world-class science. That’s the goal that we’re setting at Celera. If we do world-class science and create new medicine paradigms, the money will more than follow at a corporate level and at a personal level.

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