Google V/s Death: What Is Google’s Calico Up To?
Back in 2013, the Time Magazine had written their cover story on Google vs. Death, about a company named Calico, at the time a new Google health venture focused on understanding the reasons behind aging and the diseases around it – and how as humans we could beat it.
At the time, Google CEO, Larry Page had said, “We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done.”
But with a massive budget of $1.5 billion, how would Calico help humans prolong their lives, along with achieving better health standards? To these questions, Page had been vague, opting instead to speak of Calico’s mission which is “to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan.”
In a research done by Vox, on speaking with researchers involved in the study of aging and mortality, around Silicon Valley, realization struck that 4 years since the start of the company, nobody still has any clue what Calico is up to! Calico’s media contacts, when reached out to by Vox for interviews, didn’t even consider it worth responding to.
Apart from the dozen or so press releases Calico has released, the company is nothing short of an impenetrable fortress. Through their press releases we have been able to assess only that the Google backed health venture continues to make key partnerships and collaborations with labs and pharma companies focused on researching aging and associated diseases.
There are currently no clinical trials or patents filed by or under the Calico Brand, publicly. On doing some research, one comes across only a few papers published by Calico related to aging.
Think about this for a second – One of the largest and most profitable organizations in the world has rolled up its sleeves in a bid to solve aging and age related diseases, with a funding that qualifies it in the top 15 billion dollar startup clubs, and yet there is absolutely no information available on what they’re up to in the public domain.
In today’s day and age, every bit of information available in the biomedical space would be helpful, as is seen in the case of Bill Gates, who continues to help solve some of the most serious causes of death in the young and deprived around the world. Yet we have a company that prides itself on being transparent and open, being extremely secretive and elusive when it comes to its health venture.
With Musk aiming for humans to reside on Mars, Bezos looking to deliver goods to Mars, and now Google’s Calico trying to deal with aging, lord knows what the future has in store for us Humans. But for now, I guess we can safely assume that Google still might have a bit of a distance to go in its quest to solve aging.
Or, maybe, they have and they just don’t want us to know…
Image Source: Calico, thestreet.com