Google 'anti-aging' group has a website

Aug 12, 2014
The Google logo is seen at company headquarters in Mountain View, California on September 2, 2011

Google's new company aimed at addressing problems of health and aging has taken a step forward—with its own website and mission statement.

"We're tackling aging, one of life's greatest mysteries," says the website of Calico LLC, a project announced last September by Google chief executive Larry Page.

"Calico is a research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. We will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives."

As previously announced, the head of the company is Arthur Levinson, who was of Genentech from 1995 to 2009 and is now the chairman of the board of Apple.

The other members of the team, which had not been previously announced, include Hall Barron former chief medical officer of pharmaceutical group Hoffmann-La Roche; David Botstein, a Princeton University genomics professor; and Cynthia Kenyon, a researcher in biology and genetics who comes from the University of California at San Francisco.

The team also includes former Genentech oncology researcher Robert Cohen and Jonathan Lewis, an executive from Brussels-based UCB Pharma.

"We are scientists from the fields of medicine, drug development, molecular biology, and genetics," the website said.

"Through our research we're aiming to devise interventions that slow aging and counteract age?related diseases."

Announcing the new investment last year, Page said: "Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives."

News of the website was reported Monday by SFGate, which is part of the San Francisco Chronicle.

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User comments : 9

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Moebius
5 / 5 (3) Aug 12, 2014
I have expected for many years that life extension would occur before 2050 if it's possible, definitely by the end of the century. I can't see any reason why it isn't possible. It will change society like nothing since the invention of religion.

I think, despite the resistance of the usual suspects, that the changes will end up being for the better. It will make us face our over population problem sooner for one thing. We will be forced to sooner or later limit reproductive rights when life extension occurs and that will cause riots. That will benefit all other species and the environment.

I also think the economics of a huge leisure class that just consumes hasn't been analyzed properly. The work of the people who produce for that leisure class, basically everyone who works, will be worth progressively more as the leisure class grows.
Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (1) Aug 12, 2014
Life expectancy has been increasing since the 20th Century and is now about double.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Aug 13, 2014
I also think the economics of a huge leisure class that just consumes hasn't been analyzed properly. The work of the people who produce for that leisure class, basically everyone who works, will be worth progressively more as the leisure class grows.

Even now, leisure activities are a huge chunk of the economy..
kochevnik
4.5 / 5 (2) Aug 13, 2014
Life expectancy has been increasing since the 20th Century and is now about double.
But longevity has not increased substantially in that time.
arathornbr
not rated yet Aug 13, 2014
Cool, but where is the URL??
Shakescene21
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2014
"Cool, but where is the URL?"

Here it is:
http://www.calicolabs.com/
Not too much there yet beyond what's in the article.
NOM
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2014
@Moebius
I doubt that extending the life of the few people who will be able to afford to extend their lives would have much effect on population. Many of these people don't exactly contribute much already, eg Paris Hilton.
Once the privileged few have achieved immortality, they may start to think long-term about what is happening to this planet.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 14, 2014
I also think the economics of a huge leisure class that just consumes hasn't been analyzed properly. The work of the people who produce for that leisure class, basically everyone who works, will be worth progressively more as the leisure class grows.
Attitudes like this are why the sabbath was invented and working on it was deemed a capital crime.

The trend of technology has always been to enable more production with fewer people. This trend is accelerating geometrically. Automation can and will drive most people out if work. But it can also be made to pay for itself and support the workers it displaces.

Instead of taxing owners, machines can be taxed directly. They can record exactly the amount of work they do and resources they consume. Removing humans from the process of taxation will increase revenue enormously.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Sep 14, 2014
BTW, we won't see treatments to increase longevity until the cultures and institutions in this world which force population growth, are mitigated.

Overpopulation is the single most dangerous condition in the world today. Countering it requires many activities, including suppressing technologies which exacerbate it.