Google vs. the Grim Reaper in the fight for your life

Google takes on death itself with Calico, its new data-driven company on a mission to extend the human lifespan

It apparently isn't enough to own the Internet, have the ability to record your every waking moment, create self-driven cars, fund interplanetary travel, deliver the Internet via balloon to the remotest corners of the earth, or anticipate what you're likely to want before the desire has even formed inside your cranium. Google has even loftier goals: It wants to invent the fountain of youth -- or, at the very least, cheat death a little longer.

According to, Google is about to launch Calico, a new firm whose goals will include "significantly expanding human lifespan," and has hired former Genentech CEO Art Levinson to run it.

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(My first thought: God, I hope Dick Cheney never finds out about this, or we'll never be rid of him. Feel free to substitute the nonconservative icon of your choosing as you read that sentence.)

In a blog post made public two hours ago, CEO Larry Page wrote:

Art and I are excited about tackling aging and illness. These issues affect us all -- from the decreased mobility and mental agility that comes with age, to life-threatening diseases that exact a terrible physical and emotional toll on individuals and families. And while this is clearly a longer-term bet, we believe we can make good progress within reasonable timescales with the right goals and the right people.

Welcome to your new G-life, old codger. Hope the next 900 years are as fun as the first 100.

The snark wasn't long in coming. Search engine maven Danny Sullivan tweeted:

I mean, Google already knows how to beat taxes, so why not beat death :) CEO Aaron Levie chimed in:

Remember: every time you click an ad on Google, you're now increasing the probability that you will live forever.
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