Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life

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Viking, 2013 - Science - 224 pages
The renowned scientist and author of A Life Decoded examines the creation of life in the new field of synthetic genomics

In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create “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 to help us adapt and evolve for long-term survival. The science of synthetic genomics will have a profound impact on human existence, including chemical and energy generation, health, clean water and food production, environmental control, 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 ponder anew the age-old question “What is life?” and examine what we really mean by “playing God.” Life at the Speed of Light is a landmark work, written by a visionary at the dawn of a new era of biological engineering.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

From the maverick who first "shotgun-sequenced" the human genome, the story of digital biology, of how his group engineered the first synthetic microbes, of the emerging ethics-conscious era of ... Read full review

LIFE AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life

User Review  - Kirkus

Best known for sequencing the human genome, Venter (A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life, 2007, etc.) now looks ahead to the possibilities for synthesizing life.The author compares the nine months ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

J. Craig Venter is best known for sequencing the human genome. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to genomic research. He is also the founder and CEO of Synthetic Genomics, Inc., as well as the author of A Life Decoded. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the 2008 United States National Medal of Science, and twice been named one Time's 100 most influential people. He lives in La Jolla, California. Visit jcvi.org.

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