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How Google's Calico aims to fight aging and 'solve death'

10-4-2013 National:

It is an age-old question: will humankind ever defeat old age?

Plenty of skin care companies would like us to believe so. And now, the multinational tech giant Google would like us to think it might be possible too.

Last month Google announced a new medical company called Calico, whose explicit aim is to take on aging itself. But what will Google's approach be? And what other research into prolonging life already exists?

With its proliferation of businesses, products and services, it would be easy to forget that not so very long ago Google was just a search engine. Today, offshoots of the sprawling global corporation can be found researching self-driving cars, developing their own smart phones and tablets and even launching giant balloons into near space.

Amid this growing portfolio of diffuse interests and initiatives has been added their latest company: Calico.

Calico -- or the California Life Company -- has been set up to research subjects related to aging and its associated diseases. Announcing Calico at a media briefing, Google said that the new and independent company will largely focus on age-attendant conditions such as Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease.

Larry Page, Google's ever youthful CEO said: "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."

But the question is, what will Calico actually do? At the moment the company isn't giving much detail away: "(Incoming CEO Arthur Levinson) and I are excited about tackling aging and illness," Page wrote in his Google+ blog post. But repeated requests from CNN to interview either Page or Levinson were politely declined. ..Long Article w/many parts..CLICK.. by Arion McNicoll

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