Alphabet Could be Looking to Fight Disease with Mosquitoes

August 14, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

To kick off the month of August, Google’s executive team introduced us to Alphabet, Google’s new parent company and the beginning of something pretty special. G is for Google, and it appears that Alphabet is to become a sort of parent company for many different companies. The sort of companies that Alphabet is likely to play parent to are often referred to as ‘moonshots’, a name for ideas and targets that seem insurmountable, but are nonetheless important to the rest of humanity. We’ve seen much of this at Google’s X labs, but Alphabet now seems more likely for future projects. There next big moonshot could have a lot to do with fighting disease through genetically-modified mosquitoes.

Recently, this has been a hot-topic in the science and tech industry, and the prospect of cutting down multiple diseases and prevent others taking hold through genetic-modification is a big deal and could spell the end of malaria and other serious diseases. Re/Code has learnt that Alphabet’s head honcho, Larry Page has spoken to George Church, a Molecular Engineer at Harvard about his research into CRISPR, a promising gene-editing process. Things get a little more interesting when Linus Upson, responsible for making the Chrome Browser what it is today, is very much interested in pursuing this sort of thing to put diseases in their place. The three of them have apparently spoken, and these talks talk expand into some financial arrangement to get something big off of the ground. Of course, right now it seems like these are just exploratory talks.

The future of Alphabet is a big deal for not just the technology sector, but the science industry as well. If there’s one thing that projects like these need, it’s money, and we’re sure that Alphabet can get their hands on some serious funds. Having said that, Alphabet and this new structure of doing things is new, and it’ll take time to see just where all of it actually leads, but it’s exciting stuff nonetheless. G might be for Google, but there are 25 other letters out there, and it seems like Page and friends intend to fill those slots.