In 2010, J. Craig Venter and his team at the Venter Institute became the first to successfully construct synthetic life, putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting phase of biological research, one that will enable us to actually write the genetic code for designing new species that can be used in many ways for the betterment of mankind. The science of synthetic genomics will have a profound impact on human existence, including new chemical and energy generation, human health and medical advances, clean water and food production, positive environmental impact, and possibly even our evolution. In “Life at the Speed of Light,” Venter presents a fascinating and authoritative study of this emerging field from the inside, detailing its origins, current challenges and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. This scientific frontier provides an opportunity to consider the age-old question: What is life? “Life at the Speed of Light” is a landmark work, written by a visionary at the dawn of a new era of biological engineering.
Image: NASA Ames Research Center