"New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH"
Really? I have no way of knowing if Googlers or Timers have actually read A REMEDY FOR DEATH, but that does make a good headline . . . and makes the point that it's not just wacko writers of technothrillers who are exploring the possibilities of life extension, anti-aging methods, regenerative medicine, and the implications of a quest for human immortality.
And is it just a coincidence that the TIME cover -- Can Google Solve Death?-- even echoes the title of A Remedy for Death, even to the use of color changes in fonts? (TIME is lacking the butterfly emblem of REMEDY, as in, "What a caterpillar calls death we call a butterfly")
Well, no, seriously I don't believe that TIME has been listening into my computer (though I'm not so sure about Google . . . but, if so, Google would only do so to help me. Of course. As would the NSA!))
Anyway, what TIME reports is this: Google, ever exploring new possibilities, has set up a company called Calico, with the aim of perhaps finding a way to defeat death itself. Then this from TIME:
The unavoidable question this raises is why a company built on finding
information and serving ads next to it is spending untold amounts on a project
that flies in the face of the basic fact of the human condition, the existential
certainty of aging and death. To which the unavoidable answer is another : Who the hell else is going to do it?
It's early still, but what TIME gathered is that the Google/Calico approach will likely involve data collection and crunching rather than brewing up new potions. Which makes sense:
Medicine is well on its way to becoming an information science: doctors and
researchers are now able to harvest and mine massive quantities of data from
patients. And Google is very, very good with large data sets. While the company
is holding its cards about Calico close to the vest, expect it to use its core
data-handling skills to shed new light on familiar age-related maladies.
The article also reminded that. . .
The idea of treating aging as a disease rather than a mere fact of life is an
old one--at least as a fantasy. And as a science? The American Academy of
Anti-Aging Medicine has been around since 1992, but the discipline it represents
has yet to gain much of a foothold in mainstream medicine. Research has been
slow to generate results. Consider Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass.,
company built around a promising drug called SRT501, a proprietary form of
resveratrol, the substance found in red wine and once believed to have
anti-aging properties. In 2008, GlaxoSmithKline snapped up Sirtris for $720
million. By 2010, with no marketable drug in sight and challenges to existing
resveratrol research, GlaxoSmithKline shut down trials. Other anti-aging
initiatives exist purely as nonprofits with no immediate plans
It seems Calico will be centered around thet Googleplex in California, a much less secretive and less spooky spot than the remote mountain location in the middle Europe dictatorship where the Hauenfelder Clinic of A REMEDY FOR DEATH is situated.
Of course, the Hauenfelder Clinic is fictional, part of a technothriller, but doggone, it does seem that fact is beginning to follow that piece of fiction.
For another take on TIME and GOOGLE and the quest for immortality, see:
Also, valleywag.gawker.com posted this related item not long ago: "Billionaires will disrupt death if it's the last thing they do." Seems it makes some billionaires really angry to think they might die! Poor guys! (To quote billionaire Parsons Coulter from my A REMEDY FOR DEATH: "If I can't take it with me, then hell no, I won't go!") Here's the link to that article: