Google

Google Invests in Immortality

Startups searching for it, that is.

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Google Ventures
GV

Back in September 2013, Google launched Calico, short for California Life Company, which Google CEO Larry Page announced will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases.

But that's not the only bet on longevity and health that the company is making. Today's Bloomberg Business is profiling Google Ventures chief Bill Maris and some of the biomedical and health startups that his team is investing in.

The profile begins promisingly when Maris says: "If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes."

Google Ventures has stakes in Foundation Medicine which has created and is improving a bioinformatics platform that analyzes all genes known to be relevant to solid and blood cancers. This enables physicians to more precisely target treatments for each individual patient's cancer. Flatiron Health is a "big data" project focused on creating an "OncologyCloud" to capture and analyze the vast reams of clinical data hidden in the cancer care notes of doctors and nurses.

Bloomberg Business adds that Maris …

…hopes to find, and fund, the next generation of companies that will change the world, or possibly save it. "We actually have the tools in the life sciences to achieve anything that you have the audacity to envision," he says. "I just hope to live long enough not to die." …

In this vision of our future, science will be able to fix the damage that the sun or smoking or too much wine inflicts on our DNA. Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other scourges of aging will be repaired at the molecular level and eradicated. In the minds of this next generation of entrepreneurs, the possibilities are bizarre and hopeful and endless. We probably won't live forever, but we could live much longer, and better.

These are the bets Google Ventures is hoping will ultimately be its biggest wins. "We aren't trying to gain a few yards," Maris says. "We are trying to win the game. And part of it is that it is better to live than to die."

Work hard guys. Work hard.

See also Reason TV's segment, "What If You Could Live 10,000 Years? Q&A with Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan."

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  1. Oh, good! So we can have Hillary Clinton for President…FOREVER!

    1. And Mick Jagger performing during halftime at Superbowl XDII.

      1. That would be CDXCII.

        /romannumeralpedant

        1. Not if Sig sponsors that Super Bowl! #TheNEWSigXDII

        2. D – C + (C -X) + I + I == -100 + 500 + (-10) + 100 + 1 + 1 == 492. 500 years from now. Are you saying that there have only been 8 Superbowl thus far? …that the Eagles have never even played in one.

  2. “Many wish for immortality who are bored silly on a rainy afternoon.”

  3. I just want to be able to restore my body to, say, the equivalent of 25 or so, but with my current mind intact.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (rubs hands evilly)

    1. Why 25? Go for broke man, 18.

      1. Young, Dumb, and Full of Cum: The Sandra Fluke Story

        1. She was never hot.

          1. I don’t think she’s ever had a dick in her either.

      2. At 18 you’re still not at physical peak. It’s around 25 that that happens. Besides looking too young isn’t going to do you any favors with women.

        1. Haven’t read a story about female high school teachers lately eh?

        2. Besides looking too young isn’t going to do you any favors with women.

          It’s always worked for me.

          1. Though those days are coming to a close. Every time I get a haircut there’s more and more grey on the floor.

        3. And at 25 the hormones have quit whipsawing that saved intellect.

    2. Didn’t I already, on another thread, lay out the road map for this? It’s easy- they just need to make it work.

  4. If I had a metric shit ton of money like Brin, I would probably do the same.

    1. It worked out really well for Michael Jackson and Madonna.

  5. The profile begins promisingly when Maris says: “If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes.”

    “The way it’s done is by dividing each turn around the sun by six and calling each section of orbit a ‘Year’. Presto!”

  6. We can’t have people just willy-nilly choosing immortality! It’s an insult to all the great men and women who came before and didn’t have that option! No, immortality must be regulated and licensed. For the greater good.

    Rest assured, though – no political litmus test for our potential licensees.

    1. +1 Dr. Strangelove

  7. 3D printing of organs, ok. Zoltan forgot to mention the transfusions of children’s blood as a means to stay young. I’ve been taking a few ml each time the grandkids visit.

    1. Too good for orphan blood? I should let you know that Sudden’s patented Artisan Orphan Ambrosia is made from only the finest type O-negative free range, grass fed orphans. The orphans whose blood is used are put through a gamut of strenuous physical tests to assess fitness for use in our upscale bemonocled clientele and that such activities include (but are not limited to) diamond mining, working the fields without benefit of modern machinery, digging mass-graves for the insolent and mutinous, competitive monocle polishing, and feeding the fires that feul our various subsidiary industries with decomposing human skeletal remains. Also, rest assured that we are looking out for your faith in the afterlife should mortality actually find you wanting: all our orphan blood is drained while the orphans still live, without any benefit of stunning, and is therefore in keeping with both kosher and halal practice.

      1. Dear god man…where on earth did you find free range orphans?

        1. I raise them myself. I permit the most physically gifted orphans to sire a brood. That brood is then allowed to crawl and meander about my 800 acre human-hunting/gun range and those that survive to the age of 12 are selected for Artisan Orphan Ambrosia

      2. Grass fed? I don’t want blood from no vegetarian pussy!

        1. It was good enough for your mother…

        2. Some do feast upon the carcasses of their less fortunate colleagues. We can accommodate special orders if you require only the omnivorous cannibal orphans be included in your batch, but you must understand that this is a pricier order since it requires a significantly higher orphan input per ounce of blood

  8. Work hard guys. Work hard.

    Ron, I know I keep sarcastically poking fun at your midlife crisis every time you write something in regards to immortality, but you really, really need to accept the fact that, given current technology, you’re probably going to die within the next thirty years. And it’s highly unlikely that you or I will ever have access to immortality in a time frame that actually matters. Accept it, get over it, and live your life.

    1. Well, thanks for spoiling the moment, Debbie Downer…

      *shuffles off dejectedly*

      1. Hey, I’d love to have a robot body, but I don’t EXPECT to get one. I’m just saying there’s a difference in the mentalities of wanting something but recognizing its very unlikely or expecting something to ‘save’ you. One leans a little too heavily into the ‘wishful thinking’ category.

        1. OH, JUST PILE ON, JOHN. SURE. GO AHEAD….

          *continues shuffling off, probably to Buffalo or somewhere horrid like that*

        2. I’d say that anti-aging technologies, from genetic modification to nanobots to who knows, are more likely to appear within the next few decades than the ability to have a robot body.

          Ron might be overoptimistic but he’s not being ridiculous.

        3. Immortality, inevitability, …

          It scratches all the itches a religion scratches, but it doesn’t require mysticism.

          If religion is an evolutionary adaptation that has helped mold us into what we are, we should expect something like transhumanism to emerge.

          And, yet, transhumanists don’t see that as a reason not to believe in it. Even though most of them, presumably, think people shouldn’t believe in creationism because there are alternate explanations for the origin of humanity…

          I would find transhumanism more interesting if it marketed itself as a religion. Trying to get people to reject a social adaptation that no culture survived into the historical record without is silly. People still want immortality, the certainty of inevitability, etc.

          Just getting rid of the mysticism doesn’t mean it isn’t a religion.

    2. If you are under 30 would u have a chance?

      1. Just like with everything else, Gen X is going to miss out on this one by a few years. Social Security…except for you. Sexual revolution…now have some AIDS. Immortality…after you’re dead.

  9. This makes me wonder what effect this would have human psychology. I saw a child today! Just a glimpse of one, hiding behind a tree.

  10. One of the ways that our society progresses is by having those entrenched in power die off. New people with new ideas take over. If people live to 10k we would have to do something about that. Time limits of some sort. Mandatory retirement at 1000?

    Also, the AGW crowd would have to change strategies. There would be too many people around who would call them on their perfect record of failed predictions.

    1. If people live to 10k we would have to do something about that.

      This is why I’m stocked up on 9mm and 30-30

    2. This would absolutely become an issue, but I seriously doubt “time limits” would be obeyed or even implemented in the first place. No, people would just resort to force more. If a total asshole psychopath became dictator and could basically stay that way for 10,000 years, people would go to “assassinate” WAY quicker than they do now, where sometimes they’ll just wait.

      It would be a problem, but like any kind of problem, they’re going to crop up and you deal with it.

      1. Interesting, what would you do, if your dictator made a million copies of himself?

        1. Ghost-dubbing doesn’t work, of course.

  11. Think of the alimony!

    I’m more worried about people being able to clone themselves. What if Barack Obama was not only the President, but also the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the president of every third university in America, and the Human Resources Director at half the companies in the Russell 2000?

    One Obama is enough.

    1. He seems to think he is all of those.

        1. “I have seen a world that no man should see”!

  12. Transhumanist asshole. Like me!

    1. Hey, John called me that, not you, you regular asshole!

      1. I believe the expression is *yoink*

  13. Google launched Calico

    It’s good to be the king.

    Click on this

    http://www.calico.com

    Nothing. The link from Ron’s post is to calicolabs.com. Someone with a fascination for three-colored cats reserved that domain name back in 1998 and has recently got her payday or some other offer she could not refuse.

  14. I say to each their own but I do wonder what drives this search for immortality. I’m only 28 and am about 75% tired of all the bullshit that goes into just trying to live my life. I can’t imagine having to put up with it for another 100 let alone 1,000 years.

    Having to deal with the retards that we all deal with just to make it through the day frightens me more than dying, at the moment.

  15. The profile begins promisingly when Maris says: “If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes.”unlock your hip flexors review

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