Google's "Baseline" Health Project Has Endless Possibilities


A recent Tech Crunch article outlines the mission of Google (x)’s latest project, Baseline. Baseline is a clinical research study, “that intends to take a look at 175 healthy people’s molecular structure to determine just what it means to be in a state of perfect health.” Duke University has been leading a similar effort for the past seven (7) years. Their initiative is known as the “Murdock Study,” named after David Murdock, the chairman of Dole Food Company. Over the past several years, Murdock has transformed the town of Kannapolis, North Carolina, into a “$1 billion mecca for biotech.”

When former textile giant Cannon Mills was forced to close their doors in 2003, the citizens of Kannapolis were struggling mightily. Murdock has brought new life to the region. Aside from their participation in the study, the new facilities will eventually employ approximately 5,000 residents. Meanwhile, Google’s Baseline project is making tremendous progress. Andrew Conrad, the leader of the project, is excited to be partnering with the Murdock Study. “This research could give us clues about how the human body stays healthy or becomes sick, which could in turn unlock insights into how diseases could be better detected or treated.”

The Murdock Study has provided Baseline with funding and access to resources to help get the initiative off the ground. While Baseline is still in it’s infancy, the possibilities are endless. Dr. Rob Califf, the head of Duke’s Translational Medicine Institute, says, “combining forces will speed the pace of clinical research and enable the development of new tests and techniques for detecting and preventing diseases like cancer.”

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