Synthetic Genomics

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This article is about the company Synthetic Genomics. For the field related to synthetic biology, see Synthetic genomics.
Synthetic Genomics
Private company
Industry Alternative fuels
Founder J. Craig Venter
Area served
Products Ethanol

Synthetic Genomics is a company dedicated to using modified or synthetically produced microorganisms to produce the alternative fuelsethanol and hydrogen. Synthetic Genomics was founded in part by J. Craig Venter. Venter's previous company, Celera Genomics, was a driving force in the race to sequence the Human Genome.[1]

The firm takes its name from the phrase synthetic genomics which is a scientific discipline of synthetic biology related to the generation of organisms artificially using genetic material.[2][3] As of 2009, Synthetic Genomics is working to produce biofuels on an industrial-scale using recombinant algae and other microorganisms. They are receiving funding from companies like ExxonMobil for this venture.[4][5]

The company has purchased an 81 acre site in Southern California's Imperial valley where they intend to produce algae fuel.[6]

Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Venter speculate on the advantage to be able to print bacteria and other organisms that will eventually help terraform Mars using a "digital biological converter" that could take raw DNA code, implant it into a "universal recipient cell", and bring it to life.[7][8]


  1. ^ "About Synthetic Genomics". Synthetic Genomics' corporate website. Archived from the original on September 24, 2005. Retrieved November 26, 2005. 
  2. ^ Whitehouse, David (July 4, 2005). "Venter revives synthetic bug talk". BBC. 
  3. ^ Pennisi, E. (2010). "Genomics. Synthetic genome brings new life to bacterium". Science 328 (5981): 958–959. doi:10.1126/science.328.5981.958. PMID 20488994. 
  4. ^ Juha-Pekka Tikka : Craig Venter Has Algae Biofuel in Synthetic Genomics’ Pipeline. Xconomy San Diego. 6/4/09.
  5. ^ "Scientist on plan to turn algae to fuel". NPR. July 15, 2009. 
  6. ^ Synthetic Genomics Press release: May 24, 2012
  7. ^ "Elon Musk and Craig Venter Want to Print Life on Mars". Motherboard. 
  8. ^ Zoë Corbyn. "Craig Venter: 'This isn't a fantasy look at the future. We are doing the future'". the Guardian. 

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