Google teams up with Apple honcho to launch life-extending company

Google Calico
When saving lives via self-driving cars isn't ambitious enough

Google knows a lot about you, and it may know it even longer thanks to the formation of a new company that could add years to your life.

Calico, announced today, is Google's latest ambitious "moonshot" that focuses on health and well-being. It aims to tackle the challenges of aging and associated diseases.

"Illness and aging affect all our families," said Google CEO Larry Page in a statement.

"With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives."

Cure for cancer is not enough

Google didn't reveal what it expects the product of Calico to be, unlike its other more obvious "moonshots" like the self-driving car and Google Glass.

However, Page has high expectations for the health problem that it can solve - higher than curing cancer.

"One of the things I thought was amazing is that if you solve cancer, you'd add about three years to people's average life expectancy," Page said in an interview with Time.

"We think of solving cancer as this huge thing that'll totally change the world.

"But when you really take a step back and look at it, yeah, there are many, many tragic cases of cancer, and it's very, very sad, but in the aggregate, it's not as big an advance as you might think."

Immortal enemies team up

Even more interesting than the idea behind Calico may be the key players involved in the company.

Google's life extending "moonshot" will be headed by Chairman and former CEO of Genentech Arthur D. Levinson, who also happens to be the Chairman of Apple.

Yes, the iOS and Android companies are bitter rivals in mobile, but when it comes to saving lives, it seems the two can work together for the greater good.

"It's impossible to imagine anyone better than Art - one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation - to take this new venture forward," said Page.

Here's to one of 'the crazy ones'

Levinson seems like the man for the job, saying today, "I've devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health.

"Larry's focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I'm tremendously excited about what's next."

Even Tim Cook chimed in to agree with Google's life-saving venture that could have life altering results in the future.

"For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking.

"Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn't have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results."

Google's tremendous capital, ability to sift through vast data and willingness to take on "moonshots" that aren't tied to annual iterations of the same product means that we may be around to click on more Google AdWords a little longer than previously expected.

Matt Swider