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Baseline Study

The Baseline Study is a Google X project that aims to collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from thousands of people to create the fullest picture of what a healthy human being should be. It takes Google deeper into the health-care sector which is valued at $10.8 trillion a year world-wide in 2017. Consistent with Google's original mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful, the Baseline Study project uses a variety of new diagnostic tools to collect hundreds of different samples and then run them through Google's massive computing power to find patterns called biomarkers buried in the information. The hope is that these biomarkers can be used by medical researchers to detect diseases much earlier, pushing medicine more toward prevention rather than the treatment of illness. For example, researchers can use Baseline to detect killers such as heart disease and cancer far earlier, before they a chance to develop into diseases, so people can take effective measures for prevention.

Compared to other mass medical and genomics studies, Baseline amasses a much larger and broader set of new data. The Baseline Study project is run by Andrew Conrad, a molecular biologist who pioneered cheap, high-volume tests for HIV in blood-plasma donations. Dr. Conrad joined Google X—the company's research arm—in March 2013, and he has built a team of about 70-to-100 experts from fields including physiology, biochemistry, optics, imaging and molecular biology.

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