Dr. Venter is a biology guru. Not only his team, together with the US government, was the first to sequence the human genome, but (in 2010) they had managed to create what had been called the first synthetic life form.
An interview with genome and synthetic life scientist J. Craig Venter.
One notable property of XNA molecules is they are not biodegradable: They are impervious to natural enzymes that degrade
The promise of the field of synbio as a whole is that scientists will be able to employ this type of genome synthesis to create customized life forms for a wide array of purposes. The peril is exactly the same as the promise.
Once scientists become nimble at synthesizing the human genome, will they use that technology wisely? Who decides how and when the technology should be employed? And how can those decisions be enforced?
The Craig Venter endeavor was expensive, glitzy -- and banal. My advice to bioethicists is to save their energy for truly fearsome items.
At first, nothing happened. The team scrambled to find out why, creating a genetic version of a computer proofreading program