Oct.7, 2013

Scientists will soon be able to design and print synthetic organisms using computer software and biological 3D printers, says J. Craig Venter, American visionary geneticist and entrepreneur.

Craig Venter loves the idea of 3D printing robots which can print new life forms. Venter led the private-sector's mapping of the human genome and created the world's first synthetic life form in 2010, a bacterium genome, artificially built from the basic building blocks of DNA and transplanted into another cell. In his new book "Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life", Venter outlines his predictions and ideas about a future in which digital design and manufacture would make it possible to effectively 'print' tailor-made organisms that could be used in everything from curing disease to extending human life.

"The day is not far off when we will be able to send a robotically controlled genome-sequencing unit in a probe to other planets to read the DNA sequence of any alien microbe life that may be there," claims Venter.

He and his team at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland are also building a digital-biological converter which convert biological information into digital information like a "teleporter." "We found a way we can move proteins, viruses and single human cells at the speed of light," he said. "We can digitize biology, send it at the speed of light and reconfigure the biology at the other end."

Venter believes these achievements will provide us with crops that are resistant to draught and diseases and 'artificial' animals that could yield both food and medicines, and it will also 'provide the potential to transform our brains and bodies, including boosts to intelligence and longevity.' The Sunday Times reported.

One particularly intriguing area of his research covers the idea that we may be able to return DNA sequences found on Mars and reproduce them on the Earth using this technology. "I am confident that life once thrived on Mars and may well still exist there today," Venter writes. "If we can beam them back to Earth we should be able to reconstruct their genomes. The synthetic version of a Martian genome could then be used to recreate Martian life on Earth."

Venter has been known to test limits, in creating this organism, Venter pushed the boundaries of genetic synthesis and transfer. Venter writes: "My greatest fear is not the abuse of technology but that we will not use it at all." A lot of research is required before scientists can mass-produce entirely synthetic organisms, but Venter believes the potential could be huge.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Hari Menon wrote at 3/24/2014 11:03:56 PM:

This is quite the cutting edge with many heavy-duty implications to keep in mind, but yes, Venter is creative.

alvaro wrote at 10/8/2013 12:31:22 AM:

Mr Venter's creativity is limitness.

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