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I Dream of Genes

Meet a man with the courage to see human genetics as the business opportunity it is.

This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you've ever wondered whether you have an entrepreneurial gene in your body, you may soon find out. J. Craig Venter is a scientist-and an entrepreneur. He started Celera Genomics Group in 1998 with one main mission: to map the human genome. Now he's working out of a nonprofit organization he founded in Rockville, Maryland: the Center for the Advancement of Genomics. His goal is to mass-produce CDs with everybody's personal genetic maps, and sell them for $1,000 each. Who cares? Presumably people who want to see what life-threatening genes are lurking in their bodies. Venter's organization will work on producing a gene CD for you now-if you have half a million dollars lying around. Some critics have sniffed that science shouldn't be so commercialized. We caught up with Venter to get his reaction.

I read an article stating everybody's personal genome code should be available for free. What's wrong with that thinking?

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