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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Google Asks, What Makes Us Healthy? Skeptics Ask, Should Google Be The One To Know?

In this photo illustration, the Google logo is reflected in the eye of a girl on February 3, 2008 in London, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

In this photo illustration, the Google logo is reflected in the eye of a girl on February 3, 2008 in London, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Google has announced a massive science project, Baseline Study, to provide the most complete possible picture of a healthy human body.

In the initial stage, the project will gather genetic and molecular information, and collect bodily fluids including blood, urine and saliva, from 175 volunteers. Volunteers will also wear devices to collect data on heart rates and rhythms and oxygen and glucose levels.

The project is not limited to specific diseases, and the data will be scoured for patterns or “biomarkers,” which will help medical researchers detect diseases early, before any significant symptoms develop.

The project is run by leading scientists and will be overseen by an institutional review board. But skeptics, like Forbes’ Dan Munro are asking if a multi-billion dollar company should have all that personal information.

James Temple, medicine and technology reporter for Re/code, discusses the Google project and reaction with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

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