(Philadelphia, PA) - J. Craig Venter, president of the Center for Advanced Genomics and a central figure in the Human Genome Sequence Project, has written an opinion, appearing in The Scientist's December 1, 2003 issue, about the power of genomics and its relationship to understanding the environment and biological diversity.

"Mathematical, computational, and strategic advances, as well as new analytical instruments, have completely revolutionized genomics; more than 1,000 sequence genomes should be finished by the end of 2005. These same tools are now being used to characterize and understand the environment," Venter says in the article.

Since the spring of 2003, Venter's Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives has set out to sequence the biome of the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean. From the 200 liters of seawater examined so far, Venter claims already to have found thousands of new species and more than one million new protein-coding...

In the column, Venter also discusses the impetus and aspirations for his ambitious project, including a new biological source of energy.

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