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Craig Venter, "Hopeless Businessman"

Craig Venter says that he has been "successful in is finding alternate ways to fund research," in the New York Times. A venture capitalist friend, Alan Walton, adds that "Craig is just a hopeless businessman." Venter began Synthetic Genomics as a way to fund his research in synthetic biology, and his work there has garnered attention — Venter notes he heard from the president and the pope on the same day after announcing the activation of a synthetic genome. However, Synthetic Genomics has attracted a lot of funding, too, notes the Times, with investments from various venture capital firms, ExxonMobil, BP, a Malaysian conglomerate, a Mexican industrialist, among others. Venter is driven, the Times adds, by "the desire for scientific accomplishments, publications and recognition, and for the Nobel Prize that still eludes him. Business is just a means to a scientific end."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.