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Craig Venter

The maverick who led the private-sector human genome sequencing now has plans for clean energy. He says he never aimed to "privatise" the genome and thinks science and commerce can be best friends

By Alun Anderson   April 2006

If you had led a team that sequenced the human genome, then became the world’s first biotechnology billionaire (on paper, at least), and had just finished sailing around the world on your own 95-foot yacht, what would you do next? How about creating life from scratch, saving the Earth from global warming and, as a by-product, ending western dependence on imported energy?

That’s what Craig Venter, the scientist whose private company raced the rest of the world to sequence the human genome, is apparently up to—and I’ve come to meet him in his London hotel to hear more. If the…

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