Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)has reportedly began working on its most ambitious project till date. This science project will be the most difficult, but its success would take Google to a height that will be far-off for many such tech giants. The project aims at developing biomarkers that will enable tracking diseases in the earlier phase enabling combating them earlier rather than late detection as most of the biomarkers at present do.
Detecting disease in early stage
The project named as ‘Baseline Study’ by the company will work to find out characteristics displayed by a healthy human-being. For this it would require the genetic and molecular information of nearly 175 people in the starting phase, and later thousands more will be added.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) has entrusted the responsibility of making its dream come true to Andrew Conrad. This 50 year old molecular biologist has a stellar record, and in the past was the man behind conducting cheap, high-volume tests for HIV in blood-plasma donations. In March 2013, the company’s research arm-Google X- was joined by Dr. Conrad, who now leads a team of 70-100 experts belonging to varied fields ranging from physiology, biochemistry, optics, imaging and molecular biology.
Presently, biomarkers are designed only for the sick people and not the healthy ones who could possess few symptoms of early stages of a disease as informed by Sam Gambhir, who chairs the Department of Radiology at Stanford University’s medical school, and from past one yearhas been working with Dr. Conrad on Baseline.
Google Inc’s computing to make it easier
Baseline is different from the numerous existing medical studies because the set of data that will be amassed by it will be much larger and broader than amassed by those. Researchers hope to develop the ability of detecting life threatening diseases like heart diseases and cancer at an earlier stage, when the chances of preventing altogether are higher.
“With any complex system, the notion has always been there to proactively address problems,” Dr. Conrad said. “That’s not revolutionary. We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know? You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like.”
Varied diagnostic tools will be used under this project, which will help collect large number of different samples that could be used for detecting many diseases than just the few dangerous ones. This information will then be analyzed and interpreted to draw meaningful conclusions and find out patterns or the ‘biomarkers,’ which will be made easier by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s massive computing power.