Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has created a new health firm called Calico to combat ‘aging and associated diseases’ with a twenty year horizon and an accomplished CEO, Arthur D. Levinson, the company announced on its blog.

Google Larry Page

Affects of Google’s project

Levinson is the chairman and former CEO of Genentech and a director of its parent company Hoffman-LaRoche, with plenty of experience dealing with the intersection between health and technology. He’s also Chairman at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), one of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s fiercest competitors, but this project doesn’t seem like it will affect that competition and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook has already given his blessing saying, “For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.”

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Larry Page has described this as a moonshot project that won’t bear fruit for ten or twenty years making it far too early to give any specifics, but Levinson posed a few questions on his Google+ page that give an idea of what they’re up to.

Levinson on aging

“What underlies aging?” Levinson asks. “Might there be a direct link between certain diseases and the aging process? We agreed that with great people, a strong culture and vision and a healthy disregard for the impossible, we could make progress tackling these questions, and improving people’s lives.”

For investors who thinks this sounds like Page frantically searching for the fountain of youth (for those too polite to ask, he’s 40 and has started a project meant to reverse aging around the time he turns 60), he wants to reassure people that he isn’t risking the company on this project.

“OK … so you’re probably thinking wow!  That’s a lot different from what Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) does today.  And you’re right.  But as we explained in our first letter to shareholders, there’s tremendous potential for technology more generally to improve people’s lives,” Page wrote on Google+. “And please remember that new investments like this are very small by comparison to our core business.”