This chapter discusses J. Craig Venter's research successes and failures on the path toward artificial life, detailing the creation of the world's first cell controlled by a synthetic genome. It describes that his work in environmental genomics was just as pioneering as his work in basic genomics. Venter team's progress in the basic genomic research area unfolded in four steps. The first began at the-then Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives, led by Hamilton Smith. The second step toward the creation of a synthetic genome culminated in June 2007, when Venter's team successfully transplanted naturally occurring chromosomes of one species of bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides, into another species of the bacterium Mycoplasma capricolum, by replacing one organism's genome with another's genome. The third step occurred in 2008, when Venter's team successfully manufactured a synthetic genome in the laboratory. During fourth step, undaunted by Venter and his team's past failures, Venter researchers focused on accelerating the synthetic deoxyribonucleic acid assembly process.