Inspirational Quotes from Craig Venter

Intellectual property is a key aspect for economic development.

Craig Venter

Creating life at the speed of light is part of a new industrial revolution. Manufacturing will shift from centralised factories to a distributed, domestic manufacturing future, thanks to the rise of 3D printer technology.

Craig Venter

Knowing what your parents have gives you hints of things, but your genome is a totally unique combination of and interchange of DNA from your parents. There is no one else like you genetically.

Craig Venter

There is a long history of how DNA sequencing can bring certainty to people’s lives.

Craig Venter

We can create new ways to create clean water.

Craig Venter

We have 200 trillion cells, and the outcome of each of them is almost 100 percent genetically determined. And that’s what our experiment with the first synthetic genome proves, at least in the case of really simple bacteria. It’s the interactions of all those separate genetic units that give us the physiology that we see.

Craig Venter

A doctor can save maybe a few hundred lives in a lifetime. A researcher can save the whole world.

Craig Venter

Life is a DNA software system.

Craig Venter

There’s a constant debate over nature or nurture – they’re inseparable.

Craig Venter

I thought we’d just sequence the genome once and that would be sufficient for most things in people’s lifetimes. Now we’re seeing how changeable and adaptable it is, which is why we’re surviving and evolving as a species.

Craig Venter

I thought we’d just sequence the genome once and that would be sufficient for most things in people’s lifetimes. Now we’re seeing how changeable and adaptable it is, which is why we’re surviving and evolving as a species.

Craig Venter

Sailing is a big outlet for me.

Craig Venter

I am absolutely certain that life can exist in outer space, move around, find a new aqueous environment.

Craig Venter

Synthetic biology can help address key challenges facing the planet and its population. Research in synthetic biology may lead to new things such as programmed cells that self-assemble at the sites of disease to repair damage.

Craig Venter

Sailing is a big outlet for me. It’s one of the key things I’ve been able to do by commingling science with sailing and my love of the sea. Also, I have several motorcycles, and I like to go on motorcycle trips.

Craig Venter

The same oil that gets burned as fuel is also the entire basis for the petrochemical industries, so our clothing, our plastics and our pharmaceuticals all come from oil and its derivatives.

Craig Venter

The problem with existing biology is you change only one or two genes at a time.

Craig Venter

Since my own genome was sequenced, my software has been broadcast into space in the form of electromagnetic waves, carrying my genetic information far beyond Earth. Whether there is any creature out there capable of making sense of the instructions in my genome, well, that’s another question.

Craig Venter

You cannot look at a person’s genes and say with any accuracy whether they are from one racial group or another.

Craig Venter

The chemistry from compounds in the environment is orders of magnitude more complex than our best chemists can produce.

Craig Venter

Companies, cities, and potentially even individuals could have a small refinery to make their own fuel.

Craig Venter

People think they’re making individual decisions for themselves and their family not to get vaccinated. It’s not just an individual choice – you’re a hazard to society.

Craig Venter

It takes 10 kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of beef, 15 liters of water to get one kilogram of beef, and those cows produce a lot of methane. Why not get rid of the cows?

Craig Venter

One of the fundamental discoveries I made about myself – early enough to make use of it – was that I am driven to seize life and to understand it. The motor that pushes me is propelled by more than scientific curiosity.

Craig Venter

I have this idea of trying to catalog all the genes on the planet.

Craig Venter

People equate patents with secrecy, that secrecy is what patents were designed to overcome. That’s why the formula for Coca-Cola was never patented. They kept it as a trade secret, and they’ve outlasted patent laws by 80 years or more.

Craig Venter

There are still so many questions to answer about the workings of the human body and, most mysterious of all, it is influenced by our state of mind.

Craig Venter

Since my own genome was sequenced, my software has been broadcast into space in the form of electromagnetic waves, carrying my genetic information far beyond Earth. Whether there is any creature out there capable of making sense of the instructions in my genome, well, that’s another question.

Craig Venter

You cannot look at a person’s genes and say with any accuracy whether they are from one racial group or another.

Craig Venter

I think future engineered species could be the source of food, hopefully a source of energy, environmental remediation and perhaps replacing the petrochemical industry.

Craig Venter

Even with seemingly simple things like eye color, you can’t tell from my genetic code whether I have blue eyes or not. So it’s naive to think that complex human behaviors, like risk-seeking, are driven by changes in one or two genes.

Craig Venter

The environment has fallen to the wayside in politics.

Craig Venter

We have trouble feeding, providing fresh, clean water, medicines, fuel for the six and a half billion. It’s going to be a stretch to do it for nine.

Craig Venter

When most people talk about biofuels, they talk about using oils or grease from plants.

Craig Venter

The fact that I have a risk genetically for Alzheimer’s and blindness is not great news. But the reality is that any one of us will have dozens of these risks, and what we have to learn is how to deal with them.

Craig Venter

Agriculture as we know it needs to disappear. We can design better and healthier proteins than we get from nature.

Craig Venter

It turns out synthesizing DNA is very difficult. There are tens of thousands of machines around the world that make small pieces of DNA – 30 to 50 letters in length – and it’s a degenerate process, so the longer you make the piece, the more errors there are.

Craig Venter

There are enzymes called restriction enzymes that actually digest DNA.

Craig Venter

When I started my Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, I was told that it would be difficult to make a new discovery in biology because it was all known. It all seems so absurd now.

Craig Venter

We need 10,000 genomes, not 100, to start to understand the link between genetics, disease and wellness.

Craig Venter

I’ve gotten some pretty nice awards. I’m having trouble finding places to put them all.

Craig Venter

I have an unusual type of thinking. I have no visual memory whatsoever. Everything is conceptual to me.

Craig Venter

In the past, geneticists have looked at so-called disease genes, but a lot of people have changes in their genes and don’t get these diseases. There have to be other parts of physiology and genetics that compensate.

Craig Venter

One of the challenges with a government health system, like in the UK, with all of this data, is that you have a government making decisions on which treatments they’ll pay for and which ones they won’t. That’s a dangerous, dangerous, place to get into society.

Craig Venter

If I had a weak ego, and doubts about this, the first genome would not yet have been completed with US and UK government funding.

Craig Venter

My complaint is that there are more books and news articles than there are primary scientific papers. I am probably the biggest critic of the hypesters, because it’s dangerous when fields get overhyped.

Craig Venter

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.

Craig Venter

Privacy with medical information is a fallacy. If everyone’s information is out there, it’s part of the collective.

Craig Venter

Most people don’t realize it, because they’re invisible, but microbes make up about a half of the Earth’s biomass, whereas all animals only make up about one one-thousandth of all the biomass.

Craig Venter

We find all kinds of species that have taken up a second chromosome or a third one from somewhere, adding thousands of new traits in a second to that species. So, people who think of evolution as just one gene changing at a time have missed much of biology.

Craig Venter

Nobel prizes are very special prizes, and it would be great to get one.

Craig Venter

The trouble is the field of science, medicine, universities, biotech companies – you name it – have been so splintered, layers, sub-divided, hacked that people can spend their entire career studying one tiny little cog of life.

Craig Venter

If I could change the science system, my prescription for changing the whole thing would be organising it around big goals and building teams to do it.

Craig Venter

When you think of all the things that are made from oil or in the chemical industry, if in the future we could find cells to replace most of those processes, the ideal way would be to do it by direct design.

Craig Venter

We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before.

Craig Venter

I think I’m a survivor. I could have suffered at least 100 professional deaths. I could come up with a list of the 100 times I’ve come closest to death, from having pneumonia as a child to car crashes.

Craig Venter

I suppose if there’s a set of genes I have, it’s detesting authority.

Craig Venter

The Janus-like nature of innovation – its responsible use and so on – was evident at the very birth of human ingenuity, when humankind first discovered how to make fire on demand.

Craig Venter

I turned 65 last year, and each year I get more and more interested in human health. For most people it happens around age 50, but I’ve always been a slow learner. It’s critical in terms of the cost of health care.

Craig Venter

One of the things about genetics that has become clearer as we’ve done genomes – as we’ve worked our way through the evolutionary tree, including humans – is that we’re probably much more genetic animals than we want to confess we are.

Craig Venter

The future of society is 100% dependent on scientific advances.

Craig Venter

You’d need a very specialized electron microscope to get down to the level to actually see a single strand of DNA.

Craig Venter

We can do genetics. We can do experiments on fruit flies. We can do experiments on yeast. It’s not so easy to do experiments on humans. So, in fact, it helps us, to interpret our own genetic code, to have the genetic code of the other species.

Craig Venter

Each part of our genome is unique. We would not be alive if there was not a single mathematical solution for our chromosomes. We would just be scrambled goo.

Craig Venter

I’ve made money by just trying to do world-class science. That’s the goal that we’re setting at Celera. If we do world-class science and create new medicine paradigms, the money will more than follow at a corporate level and at a personal level.

Craig Venter

Darwin didn’t walk around the Galapagos and come up with the theory of evolution. He was exploring, collecting, making observations. It wasn’t until he got back and went through the samples that he noticed the differences among them and put them in context.

Craig Venter

I see, in the future, bioengineered almost everything you can imagine that we use.

Craig Venter

I was a horrible student. I really hated school.

Craig Venter

When you do cross-breeding of plants, you’re doing this blind experiment where you’re just mixing DNA of different types of cells and just seeing what comes out of it.

Craig Venter

The only ‘afterlife’ is what other people remember of you.

Craig Venter

I hope I’ll be remembered for my scientific contribution to understanding life and human life.

Craig Venter

How we understand our own selves and how we work with our DNA software has implications that will affect everything from vaccine development to new approaches to antibiotics, new sources of food, new sources of chemicals, even potentially new sources of energy.

Craig Venter

I’ve always been fascinated with adrenaline; it’s saved my life more than once, and it’s caused me to need it to save my life more than once. One of the most fascinating responses in human evolution, adrenaline sharpens your brain; it sharpens your responses.

Craig Venter

I somewhat joke that I know an awful lot because I learn from my mistakes. I just make a lot of mistakes. It’s OK to fail in science just as long as you have the successes to go with the failures.

Craig Venter

Science should be the most fun job on the planet. You get to ask questions about the world around you and go out and seek the answers. Not to have fun doing that is crazy.

Craig Venter

Organisms in the ocean provide over 40 percent of the oxygen we breathe, and they’re the major sink for capturing all the carbon dioxide we constantly release into the atmosphere.

Craig Venter

I was a surf bum wannabe. I left home at age 17 and moved to Southern California to try to take up surfing as a vocation, but this was in 1964, and there was this nasty little thing called the Vietnam War. As a result, I got drafted.

Craig Venter

The Vietnam War totally turned my life around. Some people’s lives were eliminated or destroyed by the experience. I was one of the fortunate few who came out better off.

Craig Venter

Now that we can read and write the genetic code, put it in digital form and translate it back into synthesized life, it will be possible to speed up biological evolution to the pace of social evolution.

Craig Venter