SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Craig Venter Speaks on Synthetic Biology

J. Craig Venter (Credit: Public Library of Science)

Craig Venter
J. Craig Venter Institute

— Few things excite his imagination than trying to design people and organisms for the long-term settlement of space
— Created a bacterial cell controlled by chemically synthesized genome earlier this year
— Mapped the human genome for the first time 15 years ago
— Can now map a human genome in a couple of days with a machine that costs about $500,000
— NASA has been doing genetic selection for quite some time — astronaut selection — without really admitting it…why not make it more rigorous?
— Screen for traits that are highly compatible for space — inner ear changes that eliminate motion sickness, minimize bone loss, etc.
— If people are going to be traveling and living in space for a long period of time, might think about engineering humans for with these traits

— Every person who goes to ISS is bringing maybe 10 million bacteria, genes, etc. with him/her

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Craig Venter to Speak as NASA Looks to Use Synthetic Biology in Space

NASA MEDIA ALERT

News media are invited to attend a discussion lead by world famous biologist J. Craig Venter, best known for his role in sequencing the human genome and creating the first cell “booted up” from a synthetic genome.

Biology on Earth readily demonstrates that life is an efficient user of resources surrounding it, turning those resources into habitats, materials and forms that perform various functions. If the promise of engineering biology on Earth is within reach, then it is time to ask scientists and engineers about possible applications of synthetic biology in space.

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SSI Space Manufacturing Conference Registration Closes Tuesday

Don’t miss your last chance to sign up for the 14th SSI Space Manufacturing and Space Settlement Conference in Silicon Valley from Oct. 29-31.

Registration for the conference will close at 5 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, Oct. 26. To attend, please sign up now at http://ssi.org/2010-conference-space-manufacturing-14/

The conference includes two days of sessions at the NASA Ames Conference Center and several events at the Sheraton Sunnyvale Hotel. Highlights include:

  • “Moon, Mars, Asteroids: Where to Go First for Resources?” NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden will moderate a panel of six other experts to debate our first moves in expanding beyond Earth orbit. The round table will be followed by a reception. Friday, Oct. 29 from 7-10 p.m., Sheraton Sunnyvale Hotel. (Free to conference attendees and general public)
  • “Synthetic Genomics”: Famed biologist Craig Venter will focus on the role that synthetic organisms can play in future space settlement. This is a joint session with the Synthetic Biology Workshop. Saturday, Oct. 30 from 5-6:30 p.m. (Conference and workshop attendees and media only)
  • “Asia’s Road to the Moon”: Dr. John Lewis, an adviser to the Chinese lunar program, will discuss the growing role of Asia in space exploration. Saturday, Oct. 30 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sheraton Sunnyvale Hotel. (Separate ticket required)

Hope to see you all there!

Famed Biologist Craig Venter to Speak at SSI Space Manufacturing Conference

SSI PRESS RELEASE

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Oct 18, 2010) — Famed biologist and entrepreneur Dr. Craig Venter will give a special talk on synthetic genomics during the Space Studies Institute’s Space Manufacturing 14 conference in Mountain View, Calif. on Oct. 30.

Venter — best known for his pioneering work in sequencing the human genome and creating the first cell with a synthetic genome earlier this year — will give a 90-minute talk and Q&A session on the role that synthetic genetics will play in the future settlement of space. Venter will speak about how this emerging technology can be utilized in closed-loop life support systems, mineral extraction and synthesis, and other processes.

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Musk, Venter, Cameron and Diamandis on X PRIZE Microgravity Flight

Participants experience microgravity aboard a Zero-G Corporation parabolic flight. (PRNewsFoto/Zero Gravity Corporation, Al Powers)

X Prize Founder Peter Diamandis just Tweeted:

“Flying into Zero G today with James Cameron, Jim Gianopulos, Craig Venter, Elon Musk and a number of X PRIZE trustees and donors!”

Cameron, of course, is the director of “Avatar.” Elon Musk is founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Motors. Craig Venter is a venture capitalist and biologist best known for his pioneering work in sequencing the human genome and creating the first cell with a synthetic genome earlier. And Jim Gianopulos is co-chairman-CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.

Last month, X Prize auctioned off three seats aboard a ZERO-G microgravity flight with Cameron on eBay for $30,000 as a fundraiser. The bidders were anonymous, and Diamandis promised there would be “alot of amazing VIPs on this flight.” So, it’s not clear exactly who paid for the tickets.

Craig Venter to Speak at SSI Space Manufacturing Conference in Silicon Valley

Famed biologist and entrepreneur Craig Venter will give a special talk on synthetic genomics during the Space Studies Institute’s Space Manufacturing 14 conference in Mountain View, Calif.

Venter — best known for his pioneering work in sequencing the human genome and creating the first cell with a synthetic genome earlier this year — will speak at the NASA Ames Conference Center on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 5-6:30 p.m. The talk, which will include a 30-minute Q&A session, is a joint session with the Synthetic Biology Workshop, a separate invitation-only conference being held at NASA Ames on the same weekend.

Venter is founder of Celera Genomics, The Institute for Genomic Research and the J. Craig Venter Institute. His self-named institute is focused on creating synthetic biological organisms and documenting genetic diversity in the world’s oceans.

Registration for the SSI conference is now open.