A Life Decoded
Taking a break from his job as a medic in the Vietnam war, Venter went for a swim, but had to swim back with one arm, using the other to hold off a poisonous sea-snake - you quickly find out the way Venter does things.
Venter entered the academic world, but was always keen to get ahead, and was soon running his own department. He became impatient with the delays and bureaucracy of government funding and so looked for funding from commercial sources. He wanted to be at the forefront of research, and would try to get the best out of his team, overcoming the teething troubles of the latest equipment. Unfortunately this meant that his results sometimes couldn't be reproduced by others, leading to doubts about their reliability. Venter soon was aiming at the prize of the Human Genome Sequence. His 'shotgun' technique offered the prospect of being able to sequence the whole genome, rather than labouring away with a part at a time. This meant that the sequencing was done several years ahead of schedule.
On the issue of commercialisation, Venter implies that he always aimed to make his results as widely available as possible, but would accept commercialisation if that meant that he could proceed faster. No doubt those interested in this aspect of the story will want to read other books on the subject, but this one certainly gives an important viewpoint on the human genome project.