J. Craig Venter is no stranger to contradiction and controversy. He seems to thrive on it. In 1991, when the National Institutes of Health was haggling over patenting expressed sequence tags (ESTs)--a shortcut to identifying protein-encoding genes--Venter the inventor accepted a private offer to found The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Md. TIGR would discover ESTs and give most of them to a commercial sibling, Human Genome Sciences (HGS), to market. ESTs are now a standard way to tackle a cumbersome genome.1
J. Craig Venter
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