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The Lure of the Google

Google has long lured academics with backgrounds in computer science and engineering away, and now life science researchers are following in their footsteps, Nature News reports.

For instance, Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institute of Mental Health, announced last month that he was leaving that post for a spot at Google's life science company, cardiologist Jessica Mega recently left Harvard Medical School for Google, and Cynthia Kenyon from the University of California, San Francisco, has joined Calico, Nature News notes.

"I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more recruitment of leading lights," Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, says.

While Google typically offers high salaries and numerous perks, Nature News says life science researchers are also being drawn by access to technological resources that are otherwise not available and by the ability to pursue goals that'd be hard to reach in academia.

"The resources are exponentially greater than what you can get through academic circles. And the metrics are different: instead of publications, it's just, 'Get stuff done,'" Topol adds.

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