Google’s new quest: The human body

  • 25/07/2014 AT 23:49 by It's a Gadget Staff
  • Technology

GoogleGoogle has embarked on an ambitious new project that would attempt to map the human body, and find out what defines health in our species.

The project, which will take genetic and molecular data from groups of anonymous subjects, will be used to find a what creates the ultimate healthy human. They are calling it Baseline Study, and it shows a new direction for Google that proves they are looking to tap into every possible industry.

Dr Andrew Conrad, a molecular biologist who is best known for his work with HIV, has been with Google X for a year. During that time, he has been building a team and preparing for this new line of research, funded by the Google brand.

The Baseline Study – What It Hopes To Achieve

This isn’t just theoretical science. Dr Conrad isn’t merely hoping to get a picture of the human body on a molecular level. This is an attempt to begin finding red flags for diseases on a molecular and genetic level, delving deeper into the subject than we ever have before.

Hopefully, this research will provide a way to detect cancer heart disease, diabetes and many other concerning diseases much sooner. Which means faster, more effective treatment in the early stages, reducing mortality rate, cost of medical care, and overall health in patients.

Rather than focus on this from the perspective of a handful of diseases, or a single disease and its multiple strains, it is a very broad project. Baseline will take at first 175 subjects, then further groups until they have collected samples from thousands of human beings.

Once they have this data, they will begin to map it. The scale will be wide and thorough, giving a large amount of information to work with. While this makes the results less targeted, it will hopefully give the researchers a look at signals that have been missed in the body before. As well as a look into how certain interactions can inform a disease.

Baseline is an ongoing project that is going to be running for a very long time. They hope to use what they find to eventually cure the diseases they are looking to treat. That is quite the order to fill, and will take decades of research, no doubt.

In the meantime, this shows that Google is moving further into outlying industries. Now their health apps are starting to make more sense.

Source: WSJ


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