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