Updated by Julia Belluz@email@example.com Apr 28, 2017, 2:35pm EDT
Calico's logo is a labyrinth — fitting for the ultra-secretive company. Javier Zarracina/Vox
In 2013, Time magazine ran a cover story titled Google vs. Death about Calico, a then-new Google-run health venture focused on understanding aging — and how to beat it. "We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done," Google CEO Larry Page told Time.
But how exactly would Calico help humans live longer, healthier lives? How would it invest its vast $1.5 billion pool of money? Beyond sharing the company's ambitious mission — to better understand the biology of aging and treat aging as a disease — Page was vague.
I recently started poking around in Silicon Valley and talking to researchers who study aging and mortality, and discovered that four years after its launch, we still don't know what Calico is doing.