Talk:Craig Venter

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Venter or Ventner[edit]

J. Craig Venter - or J. Craig Ventner? He appears to be one and the same? Or is the second a clone, distinguised by the double 'n'? The various web references don't appear to give a clue. This character appears in Jane Maienschein's excellent study, "Whose View of Life". e between revisions) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 24 March 2004 (UTC)

NIH/Wellcome Vs Celera[edit]

I'll just leave this link to one of Craig's letters here, when I get more time I'll elaborate on the NIH/Wellcome Vs Celera MXPULE London 2005 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:31, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Century problem.[edit]

Both the HMS Beagle and Challenger expeditions were in the 19th century. The statement about "the great scientific voyages of the 18th and the 19th centuries" mentions a century that had nothing to do with the expeditions used to define "great voyages", either take out '18th' or add a voyage that took place in the 17-hundreds. -- 23:54, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


Recently the J. Craig Venter Institute consolidated with the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation and The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). This should be reflected in the entry for both J. Craig Venter, J. Craig Venter Institute, and TIGR. See the press release for more information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 17 October 2006 (UTC)


what is the relevance of the photo of michael janich here? Is Michael Janich pertinent to this bio? --Spamburgler 10:28, 23 July 2007 (UTC)


I don't see why this article was in WikiProject Spain. Removing it pending a good reason to replace it. -- 00:14, 28 September 2007 (UTC)


There nothing in the biography from 1984-1999 period. This is critical period, it should be in. I think too much focus on the media coverage biography. Its less salient information, that bio and ground breaking work he did. It should really be at the bottom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Scope creep (talkcontribs) 01:31, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

So is it true?[edit]

"Venter is an ex-surfer and a Vietnam war veteran."

I wish I could meet him, if only to ask if it's true that Charlie don't surf.

I'll get me coat. -- (talk) 06:03, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

new edit, this really sounds biased to me[edit]

J. Craig Venter (born John Craig Venter October 14, 1946, Salt Lake City, Utah) is an American biologist and businessman.[1] Venter founded The Institute for Genomic Research and has been inaccurately credited with being instrumental in mapping the human genome.[2] In reality, his for-profit efforts required the use of public domain data generated by the Human Genome Project[3] and ultimately generated a lower quality sequence.[4] -- (talk) 23:50, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. I hear the sounds of someone grinding an axe here. The way I remember the story, Venter had been a part of the HGP effort, but had grown frustrated with the glacially slow pace of progress. He had an insight/vision of a much faster general approach (shotgun sequencing) that would bootstrap off the existing HGP data. After failing to convince a skeptical and entrenched HGP leadership of the merits of doing it his way, he left the "official" HGP and got in bed with (or maybe founded?) HGS (Human Genome Sciences) with promises of eventual profits for all. To the dismay of HGS, those profits never materialized (whups!), but Venter was quite right about the relative efficiency of his shotgun sequencing method. This was hardly surprising, since he and his team at TIGR, including Claire Fraser and many others, had already proven that shotgun sequencing got sequencing results MUCH faster than the previously conventional approaches. Leaving Fraser in charge at TIGR, Venter took some of the TIGR staff with him when he went on to found Celera with the express purpose of sequencing the human genome. The scientists at Celera did indeed make unabashedly heavy use of the existing data, but with that data they were then able to rapidly fill in huge sections of a rough draft of the human genome that had previously been all but unknown. Was it 'relatively' inaccurate, and of a 'lower quality' than previously existing efforts? Yes. Did they know it? Yes. Was it useful anyway? Incredibly. Their shotgun sequencing method produced results that, although not of "final draft" quality, represented a major breakthrough that then allowed other (more 'meticulous', if you will) efforts to come along and fill in the remaining details and discrepancies relatively easily. People in the know realize that the initial effort to sequence the human genome was years BEHIND schedule when Venter started, but with his help, the job was completed years AHEAD of that original schedule. Denying the huge contributions that he and his team made is petulant and just plain wrong. --Slowgenius (talk) 00:36, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Please find evidence of shotgun sequencing assisting the public effort in something peer reviewed. Due to repetitive sequences and replication in the human genome, the shotgun sequence could not be reliably pieced back together without use of the public data. A key part of the human genome project was to produce the sequence for public use; initially Celera made use of the public data while refusing to share their own in hopes of getting some return on investment. I'm not sure how any of their efforts can represent a 'major breakthrough' for the HGP as Celera did not share their data. He was not helping the public effort - his gamble was to beat it and profit from it. Unfortunately he wasn't successful; shotgun sequencing did not pay off due to unforeseen complexity in the genome. He did spur on the public effort as an antagonist, but claiming he was instrumental in the public effort is simply untrue. -- (talk) 16:19, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Venter's contributions were quite important, read some of the literature on it. He won the Gairdner award for his work, enough said ( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Craig Venter - Transhumanist?[edit]

Craig Venter is listed as transhumanist in the category space (down below the wiki entry). Is there any evidence for this? Please note that if someone expresses positive stances towards some transhumanist ideas like "intelligence amplification", this is not necessary evidence that s/he identifies him/herself as a transhumanist. (MJSL2050 (talk) 09:21, 4 May 2009 (UTC))

Which is correct?[edit]

The section Human Genome Project reads:

Celera and the Human Genome Project published rival announcements of success in 2001[16][17]. There was some evidence that shotgun sequencing had in fact proved less accurate than the clone-by-clone method chosen by the Human Genome Project[18]. After his inability to collect royalties for the Human Genome, Venter was fired by Celera in early 2002.[19] Venter resisted efforts by the company board to change the strategic direction of the company.

Despite their differing motivations, Venter and rival scientist Francis Collins of the National Institute of Health jointly made the announcement of the mapping of the human genome in 2000, along with US President Bill Clinton.[20] Venter and Collins thus shared an award for "Biography of the Year" from A&E Network.[21]

So did Celera and the Human Genome Project publish rival announcements of success in 2001, or did Venter and Francis Collins jointly make the announcement of the mapping of the human genome in 2000? --Manscher (talk) 10:28, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

The announcement was made in June 2003 before the publication of the full human genome in Science 16 February 2001 291: 1304-1351, after Venter had declared that Celera had sequenced 99% of it.
In order to achieve his goal, Venter had to solicit enough support, since he was not funded to any significant extent by the government. Substantial funds came from Perkins-Elmer, who saw the project as a great dememonstration of their technology, and also from SmithKline-Beecham (~1995-2000), to gain insight into future drug innovation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:58, 8 June 2009 (UTC) [giowiki]

Author carrying animosity[edit]

Mr. Venter's methods revolutionized the way genome sequencing science is carried out. The author of this article wears a thin facade in his/her effort to defame Venter under the guise of informing us. I suspect sour grapes and residual animosity from the battle of methodology which Venter has been proven to be correct. The scientific community has realized this--but the author of this article has not. SHAME! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:45, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I second the preceding unsigned comment by in the strongest terms. Most scientists (except for a few who participated in the genome race and lost) have acknowledged Venter's superior sequencing methodology. However, the sore losers were quite effective in publicly minimizing Venter's achievements. After all, there was a lot of money –and egos– involved. Because the details behind the genome science are difficult to understand if you are not a genome scientist, is has been hard for the public, if not impossible, to sort the facts and decide who truly won the race to finish sequencing the human genome. But most scientists would agree that Venter was ahead of the game and allowed the other group (the government-funded sequencing consortium) to join him at the finish line by declaring a tie. The current version of the article is a shallow misrepresentation of Venter's true achievements, which go well beyond the sequencing of the human genome. Most of the Wiki article should be re-written to achieve a fairer represenation of Craig Venter. Marcolop (talk) 06:31, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I have made the first attempt at a re-write and agree the previous version was quite biased. Please let me know of anything that needs to be hashed out here. I think the biggest criticism of Venter is his perceived pursuit of patents at the NIH. It should be noted that Venter had little to gain filing patents at the NIH since the government would retain most of the rights. Masparasol (talk) 21:35, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

To Masparasol: Very nice job, well done! Marcolop (talk)

I agree. I removed the neutrality disputed flag. Miguel Andrade (talk) 12:02, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Who led the team?[edit]

Under Designed coverage it says, "On September 4, 2007, a team led by Venter published the first complete (six-billion-letter) genome of an individual human — Venter's own DNA sequence." But under Individual human genome sequenced, it says, "On September 4, 2007, a team led by Sam Levy published the first complete (six-billion-letter) genome of an individual human—Venter's own DNA sequence." So was it Venter or Levy leading the team? Tlneedham (talk) 20:18, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Venter's Sailing History[edit]

Someone should make the effort to extract from Venter's autobiography, "A Life Decoded" the several passages about his sailing exploits. Sailing is a very important aspect of Venter's life so should be at least mentioned in his Wikipedia article. Apparently, Venter and his team won a trans-Atlantic race in his yacht Sorcerer. He subsequently kicked off his expedition to to Sargasso Sea to sequence previously unknown marine life forms in his yacht.

A consistent theme in Venter's autobiography is his insistence on publishing his team's work, thereby making it publicly available instead of patenting and licensing. He has paid high political and monetary prices to exert this point of view. I think his insistence on putting his scientific research into the public domain is an important aspect both of his work and his personality. It ought to be addressed in Wikipedia.

All of this (and more) can be extracted from one, 300-some page book; no serious primary research is required. It will greatly improve the Wikipedia profile of Venter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 23 January 2014 (UTC)


he is co founder of human longevity incorporated, right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Michael Ten (talkcontribs) 08:30, 22 March 2014 (UTC)


Shouldn't this article be renamed J. Craig Venter? Mdy66 (talk) 23:32, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

"Venter switched the samples for his own DNA"?[edit]

In the "Human genome project" section, our article has this statement:

Although Celera was originally set to sequence a composite of DNA samples, partway through the sequencing, Venter switched the samples for his own DNA. Source

I think this is a misreading of that article. Celera said the sample was a composite of 5 people (2 men, 3 women), one being Venter. Venter elaborates on this in his memoir A Life Decoded. Am I missing something in the Tech Review article? --Pete Tillman (talk) 16:55, 16 May 2014 (UTC)