Venter’s Research Team Creates an Artificial Cell and Reports That 32% of Genes Are Life-Essential but Contain Unknown Functions

Understanding the unknown functions of these genes may lead to the creation of new diagnostic tests for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups

Once again, J. Craig Venter, PhD, is charting new ground in gene sequencing and genomic science. This time his research team has built upon the first synthetic cell they created in 2010 to build a more sophisticated synthetic cell. Their findings from this work may give pathologists and medical laboratory scientists new tools to diagnose disease.

Recently the research team at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) published their latest findings. Among the things they learned is that science still does not understand the functions of about a third of the genes required for their synthetic cells to function. (more…)

Pathologists Take Note: C. Craig Venter Just Created the First Synthetic Life Form

Milestone achievement may lead to more sophisticated clinical laboratory tests

Now science can create synthetic life forms and J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is the first to do it. The landmark feat, which involved building the genome of a bacterium from scratch and incorporating it into a cell, “paves the way for designer organisms that are built rather than evolved,” noted the author of an article in

J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., best known to pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists for his role in sequencing the first human genome, achieved the feat at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland. Venter and his team synthesized the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides genome. The synthetic cell, called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0, is proof of the principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory, and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled by the synthetic genome. The experiment demonstrates how fast genetic technologies are advancing.