Google Inc.'s Larry Brilliant is reportedly organizing a project designed to detect early signs of emerging, global health crises.
Brilliant, last week named to direct Google's philanthropic activities, calls his project the International Networked System for Total Early Disease Protection, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The project will have a start-up cost of about $10 million, he said.
Brilliant says interest in the venture has been expressed by Google, Sun Microsystems Inc., venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and eBay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife. None, however, has yet made a financial commitment, he said.
The man who was once personal physician to 1960s icon Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist of the rock band The Grateful Dead, says the world needs an early detection system for possible pandemics such as bird flu because "you can't stop what you don't know is there." Brilliant previously worked with the World Health Organization on eradicating smallpox during the 1970s.
Brilliant says he'll help organize the proposed project, but will leave running it to others, the Journal reported. "I have a day job now," he says, referring to his position at Google.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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