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Google is Joining the Fight to Stop Aging


By Amy Blitchok

Google announced that it will once again be branching out from its traditional search engine business and starting Calico, a new company that will focus on how to improve health and aging.  This is a significant departure from the Google’s usualinterests, but it is right in line with their vision of setting and reaching lofty goals.

While reports on Calico have been short on details, it appears that the company will look to address how technology can help improve our quality of life as we age and perhaps even slow the entire aging process.  Preliminary areas of focus that were mentioned include improving mobility and mental agility, both of which often decline with age and other common diseases.  

Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, said: “For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art [Arthur D. Levinson, new CEO of Calico] is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.”

Many people are expressing excitement that a company like Google, which is known for successfully executing innovativeideas, is entering the realm of health and aging, yet Calico’s leaders are quick to call for patience, cautioning that it may be some years before they see a significant return on their efforts.  However, that didn’t stop Google CEO Larry Page from predicting that eventually “Calico’s mission could prove to be even more important than curing cancer.” 

While Google and Calico are clearly full of ambition, they are being pretty tight lipped about the scope and specific goals of their new venture.  No word yet on how much funding will be poured into Calico, how many people will be employed, or which, if any, diseases they will be looking to cure.

With so little information coming out of Google, speculation about what exactly Calico will be working on has created headlines like “Can Goolge Solve Death?” and “[What] is Calcio, and Why Does Google Think its Mysterious New Company Can Defy Aging?”  The truth is that Calico probably won’t be in the news again for another 10-20 years, which is the amount of time they anticipate it will take to produce any results.  In the meantime, there is no choice but to keep aging.

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