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By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF | December 3, 2004
The Howard County school board has reached a decision in the case involving Bruce M. Venter, who appealed his firing as the school system's chief business officer, but it won't be released for a couple of weeks. The school board is waiting until its attorney puts the decision in writing before releasing it to Venter, Courtney Watson, the school board chairman, said yesterday. "Their decision and the reasoning will be available at the same time," said Venter's attorney, Allen Dyer. "That's a fair thing for them to do."
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NEWS
By John-John Williams IV | June 7, 2009
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has ruled against a former chief business officer for the Howard County school system who was dismissed by then-Superintendent John R. O'Rourke in September 2003. Bruce M. Venter was fired after failing to inform O'Rourke, top-ranking administrators and the board that construction of Marriotts Ridge High School was off schedule. Venter sued the school system in 2003. Before the Court of Special Appeals' decision, Venter had lost decisions by the Circuit Court for Howard County, the Maryland State Board of Education and the Board of Education of Howard County.
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NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | January 9, 2005
A Maryland attorney general's opinion appears to back the Howard County school board's decision to close the personnel hearing on the firing of Bruce M. Venter, the school system's former chief business officer, who had fought to open it to the public. The opinion from Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., issued Wednesday, concluded that the hearing is a "quasi judicial function" that is not subject to the state's Open Meetings Act. Despite Venter's request that the hearing be open, the opinion said, "the request may be denied if the county board can identify an interest (its own or a third party's)
NEWS
By John-John Williams IV and John-John Williams IV,john-john.williams@baltsun.com | November 23, 2008
Allen Dyer's relationship with the school board is about to undergo a metamorphosis. In recent years, the Ellicott City attorney has been an adversary, bringing several lawsuits on claims ranging from an illegal firing to violations of open-meeting requirements. But now, with one legal action pending and after winning one of the three contested seats this month, Dyer, 61, is about to assume a position on the board with which he has done battle. He said he is expecting a smooth transition.
NEWS
By Julie Bell and Michael Stroh and Julie Bell and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | January 23, 2002
J. Craig Venter, the brash scientist who gained international fame when his upstart Celera Genomics Group sequenced the human genome, has left as the company's president as it seeks a leader better equipped for its new mission focused on pharmaceuticals. A number of analysts greeted Venter's departure as a positive for the Rockville-based company, saying Celera's mission as a discoverer of drugs and diagnostics is far different from when Venter co-founded the company in 1998 and led its sequencing efforts.
NEWS
By Douglas M. Birch and Douglas M. Birch,SUN STAFF | May 12, 1998
BETHESDA -- J. Craig Venter, the audacious bad boy of genetic research, is at it again.In the early 1990s, while he was still at the National Institutes of Health, he caused an uproar when he and his bosses tried to patent fragments of genes. In 1995, he and Dr. Hamilton O. Smith of Johns Hopkins shocked competitors by creating the first genetic blueprint of a free-living organism, a bacterium.Now Venter, 51, and Michael Hunkapiller, a scientist with the Perkin-Elmer Corp., say they plan to draft a similar blueprint of human DNA, and to do it faster and cheaper than the government can.The federal human genome project, begun in 1990, is a $3 billion, 15-year effort by the NIH and the U.S. Department of Energy to map human genetic material.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN REPORTER | January 25, 2008
Researchers in Rockville have come a step closer to creating artificial life in a test tube by stringing together the longest strand yet of man-made DNA. Scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute published an online paper yesterday describing how they lined up synthetic genes that replicated a large chunk of DNA from a simple form of bacteria. They put the DNA into yeast, where its segments joined together as it harnessed some of the yeast's cellular machinery. Experts say the result - 582,970 units or base pairs of intact DNA of Mycoplasma genitalium - is a milestone in synthetic biology, an emerging discipline focused on manipulating DNA like computer code.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,SUN STAFF | September 12, 2003
Bruce Venter, who was fired Friday as chief of Howard County school finance and construction, said yesterday that he was dismissed without notice by Superintendent John R. O'Rourke because of "accusations about the 12th high school," which hasn't yet been built. But he said he could not remember what those accusations were. "It was over in 15 minutes. It was very bizarre," Venter said yesterday of the meeting when he was called into O'Rourke's office and summarily fired, adding that he was too stunned to recall any of the meeting's substance.
NEWS
By Michael Stroh and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | May 1, 2002
When J. Craig Venter was ousted from the Rockville company he created to decode the human genome, scientists doubted it would be the last anybody would hear from the maverick geneticist. Yesterday, they were proved right. Three months after he left the spotlight, the 55-year-old scientist leapt back in, announcing he would use the more than $100 million he earned at Celera Genomics and previous ventures to educate the public on the possibilities - and potential dangers - of genetic advances.
NEWS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF | November 30, 2004
The Howard County Board of Education heard an appeal of Bruce M. Venter's firing last night after the school system's former chief business officer agreed to drop efforts to have the proceedings open to the public. A decision was not expected last night, said Venter's attorney, Allen Dyer. The school board voted 3-2 to hear Venter's appeal under the personnel exception in the state Open Meetings Act, with Courtney Watson, the board chairman, and James P. O'Donnell, the vice chairman, opposing the motion.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper and Julie Scharper,SUN REPORTER | January 25, 2008
He raced the government to map the human genome - and tied. He deciphered the genetic code for the fruit fly, the mouse and even his pet poodle, Shadow. And he has sailed around the world, collecting water samples in order to map the genomes of aquatic organisms. So yesterday's announcement that J. Craig Venter, 61, had reached a major benchmark in the quest to synthesize artificial life came as little surprise to those familiar with his work. "He's a fascinating person because he doesn't fit into the typical mold of the scientist," said Aravinda Chakravarti, the director of the Center for Complex Disease Genomics at the Johns Hopkins University.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN REPORTER | January 25, 2008
Researchers in Rockville have come a step closer to creating artificial life in a test tube by stringing together the longest strand yet of man-made DNA. Scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute published an online paper yesterday describing how they lined up synthetic genes that replicated a large chunk of DNA from a simple form of bacteria. They put the DNA into yeast, where its segments joined together as it harnessed some of the yeast's cellular machinery. Experts say the result - 582,970 units or base pairs of intact DNA of Mycoplasma genitalium - is a milestone in synthetic biology, an emerging discipline focused on manipulating DNA like computer code.
NEWS
By JEAN MARBELLA | May 8, 2007
You're an alien, you're invading Earth and you decide to do some homework first so you don't waste time attacking the inconsequential. So you pick up the current Time magazine, with its annual "Time 100" issue anointing the most influential people on the planet. Oprah? Check. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - check, check. The mayor of New York, the governor of California, the anchor of NBC Nightly News, the head of Apple - all accounted for. But reviewing a list that manages to span everyone from the Pope to a tennis player, our alien invader would feel quite confident bypassing 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. - unless, that is, he or she decided to launch the takeover last night.
BUSINESS
By TRICIA BISHOP and TRICIA BISHOP,SUN REPORTER | January 11, 2006
Celera Genomics Group, the Rockville biotech that won international fame in the race to map the human genome with scientist J. Craig Venter at the helm, has again outlined plans to reinvent itself since those heady days in 2000. Celera, a division of Applera Corp. of Conn., said yesterday that it will abandon internal drug development efforts to focus on discovering proteins for use by other drugmakers and on creating products to diagnose diseases, an area of recent revenue growth for it. This will be Celera's fourth incarnation in its continuing quest for profitability.
BUSINESS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,SUN STAFF | August 11, 2005
Francis H.C. Crick, the late scientist who helped discover the "double helix" structure of DNA that led to a Nobel Prize and a renaissance within the field of molecular biology, was not - to Al Seckel's dismay - a pack rat. Years ago, Crick had given away a manuscript detailing his DNA work to a scientist living in Wales, who in turn sold it to a San Francisco doctor for $2,000. That news floored Seckel when he found out a decade ago. "The thing was probably worth about a quarter of a million," he said yesterday when contacted in California.
NEWS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF | July 27, 2005
After exhausting administrative remedies to protest his firing, Howard County school system's former chief business officer is looking to the courts for vindication. Bruce M. Venter's attorney filed a request last week in Howard County Circuit Court for judicial review of decisions by the Maryland and the Howard County boards of education to uphold Venter's dismissal by then-Superintendent John R. O'Rourke. In September 2003, O'Rourke fired Venter, accusing him of not informing the superintendent, senior school administrators and the school board that the construction of Marriotts Ridge High School was off schedule.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | November 22, 2002
A team of Rockville scientists announced plans yesterday to create a stripped-down, single-cell microbe that could become an energy source, a tool to combat global warming or a biological weapon. Geneticists J. Craig Venter and his partner, Hamilton O. Smith, hope to develop a synthetic chromosome by removing the genetic material from a tiny organism and inserting manmade genetic material. If the cell survives, it could be genetically adapted for use as a hydrogen-based fuel, an agent for cleaning carbon emissions from the air or a tool to fight biological weapons, according to the researchers.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,SUN STAFF | June 30, 2005
J. Craig Venter - whose celebrated work in genomics has led him to be compared to Charles Darwin, Dr. Frankenstein and even God - is at it again. Despite the dismal outcome of his first foray into the business world - he was ousted as chief executive officer of Celera Genomics Group, a company he founded - the scientist announced yesterday that he is giving commercialization another go, launching a second company with Nobel Prize winner and longtime friend...
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | January 9, 2005
A Maryland attorney general's opinion appears to back the Howard County school board's decision to close the personnel hearing on the firing of Bruce M. Venter, the school system's former chief business officer, who had fought to open it to the public. The opinion from Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., issued Wednesday, concluded that the hearing is a "quasi judicial function" that is not subject to the state's Open Meetings Act. Despite Venter's request that the hearing be open, the opinion said, "the request may be denied if the county board can identify an interest (its own or a third party's)
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