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.

Via Slashgear.

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue." - Clifford Simak, 1961

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1963.

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'

FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'

Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'

ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'

Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
'Black liquid flashed past the turbot’s infrared eyes.'

SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'

Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'

Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.