Last winter, Google Flu Trends was shown to be a work in progress when it wildly overestimated incidence of influenza, but its algorithm-based model has considerable potential.
It is now two months since Google sparked speculation by unveiling vague but ambitious plans to enter the biotech sector. Details of what the spinout, called Calico, will do are still limited, but we now know some of the people who will run the show. Unsurprisingly, Google has poached some heavy hitters.
Google made major waves two months ago when it landed former Genentech CEO Art Levinson to run its still-murky Calico offshoot. Now the biotech elder statesman is reuniting with his former chief medical officer, convincing Hal Barron to leave his post at Roche and oversee R&D at the nascent company.
BlackBerry phones are a defining tech of the first decade of the 21st Century, a time when suited Big Pharma execs used the devices to facilitate multi-billion dollar takeovers. At Pfizer, the mega-merger era it helped create is over, and now its relationship with BlackBerry is coming to a close, too.
When the founders of global search leviathan Google stepped up recently to provide a few tidbits of information about their new biotech startup Calico, industry execs eagerly soaked up as much information on it as they could find--which wasn't much.
When Google unveiled its antiaging venture Calico, it gave very few details about the nuts and bolts of the company. Now, reports on the questions Calico will look into--and how much cash it will have to answer them--have started to emerge.
Google has played on the fringes of healthcare for years, investing in 23andMe, DNAnexus and other bio startups through its venture capital unit. Now it has set up its own biotech, outlined vague but wildly-ambitious goals, and hired ex-Genentech CEO Art Levinson to lead the company.
So just what is Google up to? All we know for sure right now is that CEO Larry Page has expressed some rather vague but gigantic goals for the newly created company Calico, such as significantly adding on to the expected lifespan for humans while tackling health issues related to aging.
The term "Big Data" sounds mostly like marketing speak to real data scientists, who work with datasets of all sizes to develop applications in healthcare and other sectors. For these data pros, it's about having the right data, not just a lot of data, to make sure they are providing something of value to a customer. Secure a seat now.
The Center for Brains, Minds and Machines, based in Cambridge, MA, is one of three new centers to win funding from the NSF's Science and Technology Centers Integrative Partnerships.