Google unveils Calico project to prolong life

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Search giant turns attention to tackling age-related health problems with latest tech venture.

Google has launched a new company called Calico that intends to tackle the “challenges of aging and associated diseases”.

The Google-backed enterprise will be fronted by Apple chairman Art Levinson, and was announced in a blog post by Google chief executive Larry Page.

“With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art – one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation – to take this new venture forward,” said Page.

While the official announcement is short on detail, Page’s Google+ posting revealed a little more about the project.

“Art and I are excited about tackling aging and illness. These issues affect us all—from the decreased mobility and mental agility that comes with age, to life-threatening diseases that exact a terrible physical and emotional toll on individuals and families,” said Page.

“And while this is clearly a longer-term bet, we believe we can make good progress within reasonable timescales with the right goals and the right people.”

According to an article published in Time magazine, the project is likely to use Google’s data processing skills to look at age-related illnesses. The article also said sources close to the company suggested that Calico will start with a few members of staff and research new technology.

Google is no stranger to ambitious projects. It’s aiming to stoke up the wearable tech market with its Google Glass specs, and has also set out plans to use a network of balloons to provide internet access to remote areas of the world.