July 2010

The Risks and Rewards of Synthetic Genomics

Driven by Basic Science

Keasling and other experts agreed the breakthroughs by Venter’s team, and others underscored the importance of basic science.

The technologies that made those discoveries possible were based on basic science research and funding, Keasling said, noting how difficult it is to get funding to carry out foundational research.

Venter said that research investments would continue to be “one of the most important economic drivers for the future.”

Challenging the government to play a more active role in creating innovative technologies, Venter said the federal government needs to rethink the way it funds research.

“Federal funding follows innovations; it seldom leads them,” Venter said.

Kyle M. Brown (kmbrown@asbmb.org) is an ASBMB science policy fellow.

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