Biologist J. Craig Venter predicts scientists will develop “biological teleportation” to allow proteins, viruses and event cells to be recreated at any time or place.
In an interview at UC San Diego, Venter said scientists could sample DNA at one location and transfer it as computer code over the Internet to a receiving device that would use the code to chemically recreate proteins, viruses and living cells.
“Once you have the genomes built from the DNA, you can go in any direction,” Venter said. “So, we can download proteins from the Internet, such as insulin. We can make phage to kill bacteria. And we can even now, for the first time, make single, self-replicating cells.”
Venter is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the new J. Craig Venter Institute on the UC San Diego Campus in La Jolla. Earlier in his career, Venter led the team that first sequenced human DNA.
Venter foresees many applications of biological teleportation, including being able to quickly create emergency vaccines in the face of a pandemic.