Xoogler goes biotech

I found this quote in John Battelle’s blog from a recent CNET article on ex-Googlers by Stephanie Olsen, but I’d like to repeat it just with a different emphasis as I found all the other parts interesting for the biotech community except the one sentence bolded by Battelle. So I bolded those parts:

Like some of his peers, Harik is investing in small companies like Wi-Fi company Meraki, and he’s helping to develop a Web-based video conferencing company called Imo.im with his brother. Harkening back to his college studies of mathematical models of genetic algorithms, he’s also opening a yet-to-be-named research lab in Palo Alto to develop artificial-intelligence software for the fields of biotech and medicine. He plans to invest about $100,000 in the lab this year.

“The largest intelligence system at Google is in AdSense and the Gmail spam system, but I’ve always really wanted to see our work applied to medicine and biology, which is sort of hard to do at a company,” said Harik, adding that the software will be open-source with access to the entire medical community. The nonprofit is partially funded by Google, Harik said.

Update: Comment on the Searchblog by JG:

Attila: No, even with that different angle, I think the main point remains the same. If you read between the lines, and put your emphasis there, you’ll see a glaring omission: “Search” is not one of the largest two intelligence systems at Google.
Who would have thought that the intelligence system behind Gmail spam filtering is larger than the intelligence system behind search? I would have thought that it is the other way around. That is the big fact, here.

3 thoughts on “Xoogler goes biotech

  1. I am very curious about this one too. In my experience, many computer scientists apply very interesting and elegant methods to life science problems, but often, they tend to be either impractical or lose a lot of biological context. Will be watching carefully. Let me know if you can dig up any additional dirt.

  2. Bio-IT is an emerging trend. I have yet to realize it as a significant tool, other than controlling some of my instruments and manipulation and viewing of data. Some of the predictive toxicology modeling is neat, but yet to hold muster to in vivo or in vitro testing.

    Maybe Google can break the mold. I am curious how progress on the uploading of the science libraries from Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, Oxford and Princeton is going since starting in 2004?

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