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Google Aims a $50 Million Moonshot at Curing Heart Disease

November 19, 2015

Heart Disease

Heart DiseaseCARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE KILLS MORE people on Earth than anything else—over 17 million a year, and the number keeps going up. Of those deaths, more than 40 percent is due to coronary heart disease. Medicine has drugs that can treat it and practices that can help prevent it, but nobody really knows what causes it or how to cure it. Now, Google and the American Heart Association aim to change that by dropping a $50 million funding bomb on the problem. And as you might expect from a Silicon Valley giant that believes in moving fast and breaking things—an approach that hasn’t always transferred well to basic scientific research—the company isn’t spreading the money around.

In an announcement this month at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Florida, Google Life Sciences and the AHA said the money would go to one team over five years. This isn’t covering the bases. This is, to mix a lot of metaphors, a Manhattan Project. Or as Google likes to call such things: a moonshot.

‘We have the capacity to make very precise measurements of things that up until very recently, we’ve not been able to take a look at.’GREGORY GRAF, RESEARCHER, SAHA CARDIOVASCULAR CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

“Traditional research funding models are often incremental and piecemeal, making it difficult to study a long-term, multifaceted subject,” Andrew Conrad, CEO of the life sciences team at Google, said in a statement. “AHA and Google Life Sciences have committed to a bold new approach.

”When moonshots work, they’re great. You get to the moon. But science is an incremental, layered process. Giant pools of money don’t always break research barriers. On the other hand…wow. That’s a giant pool of money.

Read More – Source: Google Aims a $50 Million Moonshot at Curing Heart Disease | WIRED

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