Craig Venter

John Craig Venter ( born October 14, 1946 in Salt Lake City, Utah) is an American biochemist who became known through a project to sequence the human genome. In addition, the complete Desoxyribonucleic acid (DNA ), ( dt deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA )) was of him as the first man in his own project deciphered.

Venter and the Human Genome Project

In 1998, he founded the company Celera Corporation to map based on private financing, the human genes by automated sequencing. This Venter was the direct competitor of the 1990 ongoing Human Genome Project (HGP ), which is funded as an international research project from public funds.

In contrast to this Celera Genomics was indeed in some areas much faster, but did not work as systematically as HGP. Although the published research results from the latter were (also) the research Venters benefit, vice versa, however, hardly.

The relatively early successful sequencing of some genes had patented with the aim of new pharmaceutical products Venter's company. In April 2000, Venter announced the full decryption of, applied in October 2000 about 6,500 patents and published some of his results. Since then, he is in parts of the world as ruthless privatisers of common property, on the other hand, the significant acceleration of this research area in many institutions it is credited. Thanks to its completely new approach, he won the race anyway.

In 2005, Venter founded along with members of his research team, the company Synthetic Genomics Inc., to manufacture with modified microorganisms or synthetically produced biofuels.


Venter was awarded in 2002 in Vienna with one of the World Awards. These are global, granted under the chairmanship of Mikhail Gorbachev prices for artists, politicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, etc. who have made in key areas of importance. Venter was awarded the prize in the group World Health Award. To protect the biodiversity of the Tangwaldes Venter examined the genes of the algae and the Tangs in the Sargasso Sea, from which he suspected there over 1000 undiscovered species. Thus, even several thousand could be worldwide in kelp beds are so far undescribed species, especially in ecologically important phytoplankton.

In 2000, Venter received the Gabbay Award, 2002, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize and the Gairdner Foundation International Award, he was awarded. In October 2009 he was awarded by the U.S. President, the National Medal of Science for 2008, which is considered the highest scientific award of the USA. In 2011 he was awarded the Dickson Prize in Medicine, 2012 with the Dan David Prize.

Synthetic bacterial genome

A group of researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute ( JCVI ) succeeded first time in 2007, fully establish the genetic material of a bacterium synthetically. Model for the replica was the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium with the smallest known genome of 582 970 base pairs; as the name of the synthetic Mycoplasma genitalium JCVI -1.0 replica has been selected.

2010 gave researchers led by Craig Venter announced the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides production of the artificial JCVI - syn1.0. Previously, she had successfully synthesized the 1.08 million mycoides base pair genome of a laboratory strain of Mycoplasma from chemical raw material and transferred to a previously freed from the DNA of bacterium Mycoplasma capricolum.


  • Man in the gene trap. The day will come: the perfect knowledge of life processes is coming this year. In: FAZ. 8 April 2000.
  • A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life, New York, Viking Adult, 2007 ISBN 0-670-06358-4 ( Engl.: Decoded: My Genome, My Life, from the English by Sebastian Vogel, S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 3-10-087030-1 )