Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

'The Difference Between Life and No Life'

Synthetic biology is trucking along, but "more solid science" is needed, Craig Venter tells Bloomberg Businessweek. "I have been sure we're about to solve all the problems, and next year people will say, 'Where is it?' We have not done it yet,'" he adds.

Building a genome is akin to putting Lego blocks together, Bloomberg Businessweek notes. But Venter says that a good design and cheap and fast DNA synthesis is also necessary. "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," he says. "The simple test is: Do you get life? We found just from one letter being wrong out of 1.1 million, it made the difference between life and no life."

The Scan

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.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.