Google labors on with trying to solve health problems via new Calico project

Summary:The Internet giant is taking another crack at solving health problems with an initiative focused on age-related diseases.

Google appears to determined to single-handedly solve all of the world's problems.

If that is the case, then healthcare isn't a bad place to start.

The Internet giant is taking another crack at conquering health maladies with an initiative focused on age-related diseases.

Unveiled as "Calico" on Wednesday, there weren't too many more details provided by Mountain View except about who will be spearheading the project.

Google has already called in some big guns, signifiying how much more serious the company must be about this compared to past Google Health products that have flailed in the background of Android, Chrome and even smaller web properties.

An in-depth piece by Time Magazine published this morning pointed toward motivations that hit closer to home -- namely health problems that have been plaguing Google CEO and co-counder Larry Page for some time now.

The Google chief added in the announcement today, "llness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives."

The nerve damage to Page's vocal cords had been speculated about (and later confirmed) over the last year, stemming back from his sudden absence at Google I/O in June 2012.

Just before the annual trade show this past May, Page discussed his current health status publicly for first time via Google Plus.

The Google chief added in the announcement today, "Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives."

Former Genentech CEO and chairman Arthur D. Levinson has been named as CEO of Calico. He is also a founding investor.

He will continue to serve as both a chairman at Genentech and Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook even chimed in and praised Levinson's appointment, remarking in a statement that "there is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results."

"For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking," said Cook. "Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way."

Topics: Health, Google, Tech Industry

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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