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Museum Lectures

Life at the Speed of Light

October 21, 2013

Craig Venter

Brett Shipe


In 2000, geneticist 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. The new cell was capable of self-replication, a sign of “synthetic life.”

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.”

The lecture will be followed by a book signing in the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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