The genome sequencing pioneer Craig Venter apparently went out to make an artificial bug, piecing genes together in the lab and stuffing them into a lipid shell. The synthetic bacterium will be called Mycobacterium laboratorium. I haven't read much about this and don't want to comment. Despite this, the story deserves a post because Channel 4 interviewed Venter the other day and showed a little piece on the evening news.
How is this relevant? And how do I know this, deprived as I am of a TV? Well, Venter was interviewed because he is giving a talk at Imperial tonight, and the TV crew came to the College to get some local voices to contribute thoughts. No, they didn't ask me, they interviewed my boss, but I managed a fleeting cameo appearance in the final clip (see minute 1:15). Fame and fortune are surely not far off now.