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Google’s Next Major Experiment: Exploring The Body

by Todd Haselton | July 25, 2014July 25, 2014 7:30 am PST


Remember when Google was just a search engine? Now the company is attacking some of the world’s biggest problems and researching topics ranging from space elevators to self-driving cars. Now Google X, the “moonshot” group inside of Google, is targeting a whole new arena: the human body. The Wall Street Journal recently published a report on Google’s project, called Baseline Study, which is being directed by Dr. Andrew Conrad and his team of 75-100 people.

The goal of the Baseline Study is to better understand the human body, death, and what we can do to better prevent early death from disease and other ailments, The Wall Street Journal explained. To start, Conrad and the Baseline Study team will “collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people—and later thousands more—to create what the company hopes will be the fullest picture of what a healthy human being should be,” The Wall Street Journal  said.

“With any complex system, the notion has always been there to proactively address problems,” Dr. Conrad explained. “That’s not revolutionary. We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know? You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like.”

The fixed well-running thing he’s referring to is a healthy human body, and Conrad’s team will compare healthy and unhealthy bodies, down to the molecular level, to see what the differences. As it moves along, Google will compare “biomarkers” using computers.

It sounds like a fascinating project, though it does seem a bit scary that Google may soon understand the human body better than other companies. Check out the source link below for more information.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...