Google Vs. Death
Google has recently announced its commitment to fighting against death itself.
Described as the brainchild of Google Ventures’ managing partner Bill Maris, Calico’s pitch to investors was to investigate the genetic causes of aging, Fortune reports, rather than targeting individual diseases like cancer.
According to insiders familiar with Calico’s formation, Maris was inspired by the work of the Human Genome Project, which had coded the entire DNA sequence. The combination of that, and an understanding of how Big Data crunching could be implemented, led to suggestions that Calico could compare the genome of healthy older people – such as those who had made it to their 90s without encountering any significant health issues – and see how, in aggregate, they differed from others.
The view of Calico is that it will be more about long-term research, at least initially, than directly getting involved in pharmacology and clinical trials. In fact, it arguably shares more in common with genome-database projects like 23andMe, which – as the Washington Post points out – was co-founded by Sergey Brin’s wife Anne Wojcicki. Similar data-first schemes include President Obama’s Brain Activity Map project, which is expected to spend billions on figuring out neurology and brain activity.
For the moment, Calico is still in its early recruitment stages. Art Levinson – Apple chairman and one of the industry experts Maris consulted for suggestions on who might want to lead the company, but who surprised him by putting himself forward – is said to be in the midst of the interview process with potential staff.
Take a look at this realistic view of the subject from Aubrey de Grey, one of the more determined advocates of solving the problem of death. He discusses Google's Calico project.
(Aubrey de Grey discusses Google vs. Death)
Of course, human beings have always longed to "put a stopper in death", but science fiction fans have been treated to elaborate faux-pharmacologies on this subject. For example, in his 1957 series Cities in Flight, James Blish describes anti-agathic, literally an "anti-death" drug.
Robert Heinlein was famous for his long-term project to defeat death based in the science of the day; see this article on the Howard Families, from his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/9/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.' - Frank Herbert, 1976.
H-MEX Helpful Exoskeleton From Hyundai
'We have those new suits rigged with atomic-powered lifting gadgets...' - John W. Campbell, 1938.
3D Skin Printer Helps Burn Victims
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'- Philip K. Dick, 1960.
Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'
When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'
LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'
Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'
The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'
Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'
Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'
Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'
TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'
Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'
Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'
Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!
Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories