Picture this: You are standing at the edge of a lagoon on a South Pacific island. The nearest village is 20 miles away, reachable only by boat. The water is as clear as air. Overhead, white fairy terns hover and peep among the coconut trees. Perhaps 100 yards away, you see a man strolling in the shallows. He is bald, bearded, and buck naked. He stoops every once in a while to pick up a shell or examine something in the sand...Wired 12.08: Craig Venter's Epic Voyage to Redefine the Origin of the Species
A lot of people wonder what happened to J. Craig Venter, the maverick biologist who a few years ago raced the US government to sequence the human genetic code. Well, you've found him. His pate is sunburned, and the beard is new since he graced the covers of Time and BusinessWeek. It makes him look younger and more relaxed - not that I ever saw him looking very tense, even when the genome race got ugly and his enemies were closing in. This afternoon, the only adversary he has to contend with is the occasional no-see-um nipping at some tender body part. "Nobody out here has ever heard of the human genome," he told me a week ago, when I first joined him in French Polynesia. "It's great."
Venter is here not just to enjoy himself, though he has been doing plenty of that. What separates him from your average 58-year-old nude beachcomber is that he's in the midst of a scientific enterprise as ambitious as anything he's ever done. Leaving colleagues and rivals to comb through the finished human code in search of individual genes, he has decided to sequence the genome of Mother Earth...
Also of note:
By JARED DIAMOND
By ANDREW POLLACK
Doctor: How A Preventable Medical Error Killed My Mother
- Read an essay by Dr. Welch about his mother’s death
- ProPublica: What a New Doctor Learned About Medical Mistakes From Her Mom’s Death
- The Lancet: Medical errors in the USA: human or systemic?
- Dr. Jonathan Welch, emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
- Dr. Don Berwick, expert on medical errors and former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.