The New York Times' Andrew Pollack just published an interesting article on J. Craig Venter, the scientists and businessman who became a household name (at least around geneticists' dinner tables) by competing with Francis Collin's federally funded team to complete the Human Genome Project.
Venter's company Synthetic Genomics created a sensation in May when they announced the creation of the first synthetic organism. I covered the finding for BioTechniques: Venter Creates First Synthetic Life. Recently Venter has focused on his efforts to use algae as a biofuel. Despite receiving funding from companies like Exxon Mobil and BP, Venter's algae efforts have generated far less of a media frenzy.
The article takes a look at why Venter's more industrial aims haven't generated the kind of success that his research and science based work has. It also gives some interesting insight into Venter himself.