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 -
PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.' - Larry Niven, 1969.
BioVYZR Is Ready, Anti-Covid19 PAPR Lovers
'Some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1931.
Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...' - Cogswell, 1976.
Beat Covid-19 With AIR By MicroClimate - At Last I Get My PAPR
More than just a bubble.
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.
Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'
TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'
Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'
Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'
DALL-E Makes Creative Images From Text
Okay, sf fans. If you could have some art created from a science fiction sentence, what sentence would you pick?
BladeBUG Robots Clean Massive Wind Turbine Blades
'There were the cleaners, with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length...'
Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.
IceBot Antarctic (Planetary?) Robotic Explorers Made Of Ice
'Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes.'
Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?
PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.'
Study: Robots Encourage Humans To Take Risks
Not exactly Three Laws compliant.
Kinetic Buildings And Psychotropic Houses
'There was a dim whirring, and the spheres tipped and began to rotate...'
Jupe Urban Escape Pods Have Tesla, SpaceX Roots
'The houses are prefabricated units... and they sell at the flat rate of five hundred dollars a room — set up.'
Best Robot Dance Video Of 2020
'I can Mashed Potato... I can do the Twist.'
Vertical Farm In Singapore's Output Is 1.5 Tons Per Day
'A towering eighty-story structure like the office "In-and-Out" baskets stacked up to the sky.'
3D Printed 'Blisk' Manufactured In Orbit
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories