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Biotech Businesses Google Medicine

Google Snapping Up Top Biomedical Talent (nature.com) 76

An anonymous reader writes: Google is expanding its scope once again. The company has been pushing hard to lure top physicians and researchers in the life sciences away from their prestigious academic posts. Google is easily able to pay more than universities, and they also offer a different type of focus. "Silicon Valley offers strong technology resources that are hard to access in academia, Topol says, as well as the opportunity to pursue goals that are difficult to reach for in academia, where scientists are not typically rewarded for pursuing real-world applications." Other companies are starting to push into this sector as well, but none of them match Google's efforts; it's estimated the company is now pouring a billion dollars a year into life-sciences research.
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Google Snapping Up Top Biomedical Talent

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  • my daddy was right. should have taken up fishing.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    And a princess can employ a materials scientist, but there's going to be a lot more innovation in textile design if the guy isn't wasting his mind making pretty dresses all day.

    The best researchers could always accept a higher paying commercial gig, but don't. My discipline is mathematics and, well, making money would be a much easier intellectual challenge than the ones I choose to face.

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @07:44PM (#50784839) Homepage

    All your base (pairs) are belong to us!

    (Along with all of your proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and damned well everything else you have.)

    • Do not worry, Omni Consumer Products has your back! Omnicorp!

      (don't mind the large robots trying to kill you, this is a free service!)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just a couple weeks ago I attended the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) annual meeting in Baltimore. There were somewhere on the order of 7,000 people attending. So, if Google wanted to "own" genomics research - just in the USA - and not other huge fields like cancer research - then they would have to hire many thousands of research scientists. Now, Google (well, technically Alphabet) is a very big company so it wouldn't be impossible for them to hire that many research scientists. But, at the mo

    • All your base (pairs) are belong to us!

      (Along with all of your proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and damned well everything else you have.)

      Hey! Those self-replicating airborne biological tracker-viruses with remote activate-able target-termination, streaming direct-to-brain advertisement, thought-monitoring, and remote behavior-modification/adjustment capability ain't gonna design & deploy themselves!

      Why do you hate scientific progress?


  • by Anonymous Coward

    Silicon valley can ruin biomedical research like they ruined CS research!

  • Google or Alphabet? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @07:53PM (#50784863)

    Is this really Google's doing because none of this seems to be search engine related. It seems far more likely that this is Alphabet's doing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hey look, Admiral Aspergers has joined the conversation.

      And, no, It's Google that is doing it since the story is referencing things that happened long before Alphabet ever existed.

    • Alphabet didn't even exist when they started all of this.

    • I think it's still just a simple matter of people still thinking of Alphabet as "Google".
    • Also known as the Umbrella Corporation.

    • Is this really Google's doing because none of this seems to be search engine related.

      There were news items a few months ago saying some of the Silicon Valley billionaires were planning to fund anti-ageing medical research.

      - The medical establishment hasn't been pushing it because the FDA considers ageing to be a normal process, rather than a disease, and so treatments and drugs to retard or reverse it, even if they were amazingly effective, would be unlikely to be something they can bring to market

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:01PM (#50784887)

    If Google was to invest in drug research and make the resulting drugs available at a reasonable cost, that would be awesome.

    Pretty soon, all will be Google....everything will be Google, and Google will be everything.

    You''ll get up out for your Google bed, have Google brand eggs and pancakes, wash it down with Google OJ and Google coffee while watching GoogleTV, then get in your self-driving Googlemobile and go to work at Google.

    You'll poop in Google brand toilets, wipe with Googlepaper, wash your hands with Google soap and then walk on Google carpeting back to your GoogleCube where you will happily toil in the employ of Google. If you're a good Google employee, you may be allowed to name your firstborn child "Google" (or "Googlette" if it's a girl.)

    Later, you'll die in a Google Assisted Living facility and your body will be fed into the GoogleFurnace so the trace elements can be extracted and recycled for use in Google brand products. Your cremains will be taken out and sprinkled in the ocean, err, I mean in the "Google Ocean".

    And so the Cycle of Life, err, I mean the "Cycle Of Google" will begin anew. All hail our Google overlords, blessed be thy names!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by galabar ( 518411 )
      You won't have to wipe -- Google toilets are way more advanced than that.
    • Yes, this is not a new thought. Here's another old one: I do not know whether to be happy or sad that Google is more competent than most governments, because if it should become them, it will be able to do what they do better than they do. Unfortunately, much of what many governments do is stuff we would prefer they didn't...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So what massive highway systems has Google built and maintained? What fire and police services? What water and electricity utilities? What public health care systems have they created and managed? What public universities have they founded and owned?

        I could go on and on about things governments do that Google could never replicate and only fringe loons would want to be abolished.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Grishnakh ( 216268 )

          What water and electricity utilities?

          None that I know of, but they've been really successful at being a fiber-broadband utility company, something that most governments around the US are absolutely lousy at facilitating. Instead, they stupidly (or corruptly) grant monopolies to shitty companies like Comcrap who then rape consumers with high prices and horrible service. Great job, governments! Yes, there's a few rare exceptions like Chattanooga, but most state governments prefer to ban municipal broadban

    • If Alphabet/Google has its way, you can scratch out the last two lines -- you won't have to get old or die.
    • by jafiwam ( 310805 )
      And all restaurants will be Taco Bell? (after the restaurant wars you see)
    • "Pretty soon, all will be Google....everything will be Google, and Google will be everything."

      This meme alternates weekly with the "Google never finishes anything" meme.

      • "Pretty soon, all will be Google....everything will be Google, and Google will be everything."
        This meme alternates weekly with the "Google never finishes anything" meme.

        Yeah, well you won't be laughing after Google buys Amazon and turns it into GoogleZon, now will you, Citizen?

    • Then we know we are finished.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:18PM (#50784929)

    many of them will return to academia. I had more time off the two years I taught comp sci than I have had total the past twenty-two years in private industry. A 90% cut in your vacation time will wear you down, especially if you were used to having it.

    • Top academics rarely take more breaks than a top tech worker, although they can make use of the flexible schedule.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The flexibility part is awesome. My college has two 14 week semesters, and my classes have always been on Tue/Thurs. Since I make my office hours the same days, I've gotten away with only going into work about 65 days a year (14 weeks * 2 days per week * 2 semesters per year + about ten misc days) since I started. The pay is crap, but I would never consider doing anything else.

    • This is about Top Talent. There's plenty of smart people in sciences. The other half is hard work. People that don't commit hard almost never make it to the top. High achievement is a way of life, not a windfall.

  • Yes I know they're working on cure for cancer, but I have this sneaking suspicion that these guys are trying to live forever, like Ray Kurzweil.

    Of course curing cancer could be just step 1 of their master program.

    • What's wrong with that? Lots of people are trying to live forever. You know that guy who owns Oracle? He wants to live forever too, plus probably every other billionaire. Hell, all emperors of China tried to live forever. Larry/Sergey are the only ones who are doing it with the expressed purpose of helping humankind.
    • Yeah, I have to say that living forever would really suck if we don't make significant progress against cancer. So if the super-billionaires want immortality for themselves, they're going to need to do something about cancer, and it seems likely that at least some of that success would trickle down to the 99.9999 percent.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @10:11PM (#50785257) Homepage Journal
    It's finally become self-aware and now wants to make a meat-body, so it can be made of meat!

    No, wait. That's stupid.

  • too much money to waste in fields and places they do not know much about, for unclear motives, to achieve unclear goals, through murky means.
    just like usa and other western governments wasting blood and treasure in iraq, afagnistan, syria, libya, etc,etc,, through among other things, invasions, coups, drone killing children, torture, etc etc,, to allegedly promote liberty and democracy, (or more probably to loot resources to keep up the lifestyles of western citizen voters and their debt-ridden wasteful cul

  • by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Friday October 23, 2015 @10:46AM (#50787481)

    The top 15 pharmaceutical companies and the top 10 medical device companies all spend significantly more than $1b per year on R&D. Google is high profile because it's NOT in pharma or medical devices, but adding $1b per year to the overall industrial expenditure on R&D in these areas is not disruptive. It makes an interesting story to imagine that Google is coming in and stealing all the academics away, but that's not reality.

  • Google's aim seems to be specifically at things that may have big long term pay-offs. - Some of them probably a decade or more in the future. That's where the really huge stupendous amounts of money lie.
    In Strong AI the long term market (20 to 30 years) could easily hit over a trillion dollars a year. And Strong AI isn't like software, it tends towards a natural monopoly with only a few very big players and strong regulation.. Software doesn't generally tend to kill people when things go wrong - Strong AI d

  • Google had been disruptive across many areas. Maybe.... Fingers crossed.... They actually want to look for cures instead of of the lifelong palliatives we typically get, that provide revenue instead of good health.

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane