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This anti-aging brain trust is the most interesting startup in Silicon Valley

RATE THIS! +48
Posted in Medicine on 8th Dec, 2013 12:59 AM by AlexMuller

In September, Google chief executive Larry Page announced his latest “moonshot,” a mysterious new venture to extend the human life span.

 
We don’t know much yet about the initiative, dubbed Calico, but Page revealed in a blog post that it will receive funding from Google. Biotechnology mogul Arthur Levinson, 63, who sat on both Google and Apple’s boards and formerly served as the chief executive at Genentech, will lead Calico as its CEO. Levinson said he declined numerous high-profile CEO positions before agreeing to join Calico.
 
“This was just so out of the [blue] that I instantly got extremely excited about it,” Dr. Levinson said in a rare interview with the New York Times.
 
Few details have emerged since the initial announcement, but Calico has continued to generate intense excitement among geneticists and biotech experts. Adding fuel to the fire, Levinson recently lured some of the most well regarded scientists out of semi-retirement or away from high-ranking research positions.
 
As we previously reported, Hal Barron will leave his post as the chief medical officer at Roche to oversee research and development at Calico, which is a huge get for such an early-stage venture. Dr. Robert Cohen, a senior oncologist at Genentech has also signed on, along with Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, 55, a molecular biologist who discovered a genetic mutation that can double the lifespan of a tiny round worm, and David Botstein, 71, the director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University.
 
The quartet of high-profile recruits is expected to begin work on Calico in the next few weeks and relocate to the Bay Area to join Levinson.
 
Calico is bold, but it’s not as “out of the blue” as you might as expect. These researchers have already contributed to anti-aging research in various ways. Dr. Kenyon delivered a TED talk on the topic after her team discovered that we don’t just wear out, like cars or an old shoe. In fact, aging is subject to control by the genes — and specifically by hormones.

Tags: agingCalicoGooglebiotechnologyhealthlife extensiongeneticsbiology

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+1
Ageing is the topic that needs urgent attention and continue to be focus of attention. Calico will join many other institutions in addressing this issue
5 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+0
Research into ageing has been supported and funded by many governments and pharmaceutical industry, there is no doubt that it is important
6 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+0
Chronic inflammation appears to be a major culprit in diseases of ageing. The immune system vitally fights infection but too much of a good thing turns bad in the long run Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+0
Genes that switch entire cassettes of genes on and off sometimes play a role. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+0
Yes, genetics offer many findings about ageing and it is not surprising that Google recruited some of the best Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+0
I think that has been a great progress. Perhaps rejuvenation therapies will appear in less than a decade Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+1
Some believe that younger generation may be much less healthy and that the life expectancy will go down Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+0
The main factor could be obesity linked to unhealthy lifestyle Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+1
Ageing is an important topic for the future, with more and more people living longer. There is no reason that companies such as Google should not get involved
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+0
Yes, as the average human life expectancy has increased, so too has the impact of ageing and age-related disease on our society. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-08
+0
Anti-ageing is often confused with looking younger- this is not the point. The aim is to live longer, healthier lives and hopefully that is what Google is supporting Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-23
+0
Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your aclirte seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon. Many thanks Reply


 

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