Who owns new, synthetic life forms?

Only days ago J. Craig Venter announced that he and a team of scientists had created the world's first man-made bacteria. And the debate over property rights for these new life forms has already begun. One of the UK's top scientists, John Sulston, said that if a patent is granted on the life form then Venter can stake out ownership over a piece of genetic engineering that could stop others from working in the field. Story