Okay, Ive been trying to figure out what I can add to the OMFGTHEYMADEABACTERIAFROMSCRATCH hysteria. I cant come up with much more than ‘WARBLEGARBLE!!!!!!!’, but luckily, many others in the blagosphere didnt totally lose their heads and have some great posts up (leave links to your favorites in the comments, I missed some, I know).
I just think its funny that a week ago I was bitching about how this group didnt explain how they synthesized their artificial genes (a few hundred nucleotides for each HIV-1 gene), cause it is really hard to go from “DNA sequence on a computer” to “DNA sequence in real life”, and then Venters like “Yeah, we made a genome thats about a million base pairs. heh.”
But this finding has raised up some old emotions in me:
Craig Venter: Figured out a faster, better, universally accepted/applied sequencing method, left the human genome project because of King Collins. Vilified by jealous loser scientists and ‘science journalists’ alike, cause hes ‘mean’ or ‘arrogant’ or something, which means as much in science as his favorite brand of pop. Travels round the world (and round your body) sequencing everything he can get his hands on. Sequenced the first complete human genome. Figured out how to make artificial creatures that run on man-made DNA.
Francis Collins: The ‘Good Guy’ of the human genome project. A ‘rock star’ in science. Scientific accomplishments include finding some disease genes, and patenting them (didnt cure/treat them, nor have they been cured/treated 20 years later). Got appointed as head of the human genome project after James Watson is forced out for opposing patents. Keeps getting appointed to political positions. Makes stupid websites and writes stupid books.
Makes the ‘battle’ between Venter/Collins at the turn of the century kinda funny, now. There is no comparing these two men, certainly not as scientists, but people will have them paired up in their brains for decades.
Man. Craig Venter and the teams working for him are innovative, awesome mother fuckers. Thats all I got to say.