Craig Venter: Gene Maverick

Craig Venter is a man in a hurry, and now all the genome mappers are operating on Venter time

It was your typical million-dollar South Beach bash: a star-studded crowd grooving to the sounds of Shotgun rocker Bruce Hornsby at a Gianni Versace mansion. But what was different about this party, thrown last September, was its guest list: 1,800 of the world's leading genomics experts drawn to Miami by a conference sponsored by Craig Venter, the enfant terrible of the gene hunters. Not everyone in the galaxy of genetics stars was there, however. Conspicuously absent was DNA co-discoverer James Watson, a former head of the federal Human Genome Project, who like other scientists in the field has had a long,...

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