Craig Venter states:
"As the industrial age is drawing to a close, I think that we're witnessing the dawn of the era of biological design. DNA, as digitized information, is accumulating in computer databases. Thanks to genetic engineering, and now the field of synthetic biology, we can manipulate DNA to an unprecedented extent, just as we can edit software in a computer. We can also transmit it as an electromagnetic wave at or near the speed of light and, via a "biological teleporter", use it to recreate proteins, viruses and living cells at another location, changing forever how we view life."
"At this point in time we are limited to making protein molecules, viruses, phages and single microbial cells, but the field will move to more complex living systems. I am confident that we will be able to convert digitised information into living cells that will become complex multicellular organisms or functioning tissues."
"We could send sequence information to a digital-biological converter on Mars in as little as 4.3 minutes, that's at the closest approach of the red planet, to provide colonists with personalised drugs. Or, if Nasa's Mars Curiosity rover were equipped with a DNA-sequencing device, it could transmit the digital code of a Martian microbe back to Earth, where we could recreate the organism in the laboratory. We can rebuild the Martians in a P4 spacesuit lab -- that is, a maximum-containment lab -- instead of risking them crash-landing on the surface. I am assuming that Martian life is, like life on Earth, based on DNA. I think that because we know that Earth and Mars have continually exchanged material, in the order of 100kg a year, making it likely that Earth microbes have travelled to and populated Martian oceans long ago and that Martian microbes have survived to thrive on Earth. Simple calculations indicate that there is as much biology and biomass in the subsurface of our Earth as in the entire visible world on the planet's surface. The same could be true for Mars."
"If the life-digitalizing technology works, then we will have a new means of exploring the universe and the Earth-sized exoplanets and super Earths. To get a sequencer to them soon is out of the question with present-day rocket technology -- the planets orbiting the red dwarf Gliese 581 are "only" about 22 light-years away -- but it would take only 22 years to get the beamed data back. And that if advanced DNA-based life does exist in that system, perhaps it has already been broadcasting sequence information."
"Creating life at the speed of light is part of a new industrial revolution. Manufacturing will shift from centralised factories to a distributed, domestic manufacturing future, thanks to the rise of 3D printer technology. Since my own genome was sequenced, my software has been broadcast into space in the form of electromagnetic waves, carrying my genetic information far beyond Earth. Whether there is any creature out there capable of making sense of the instructions in my genome, well, that's another question."
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald