In 2000, genome scientist J. Craig Venter announced that his team, along with the governmental Human Genome Project, were the first to successfully sequence the 3-billion-plus base pairs of DNA that make up the human genome. In 2010, a group of Venter-led researchers was the first to transplant a genome made from synthetic DNA into a bacterial cell to create a synthetic cell. The new cell was capable of self- replication and had no molecules from the original cell.
In a special lecture, Venter will describe his current work and new book, Life at the Speed of Light, which presents a fascinating and authoritative study of the emerging field of synthetic genomics—detailing its origins, current challenges, and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. This scientific frontier provides an opportunity to ponder anew the age-old question “What is life?” and examine what we really mean by “playing God.”
Following the lecture, Dr. Venter will sign copies of his new book, Life at the Speed of Light.