Why Google’s New Venture Is Called Calico

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On Sept. 18, search giant Google revealed Calico, a new company it would launch to tackle some of humanity’s most difficult problems, namely aging. The health care company will focus on long-term bets that can significantly extend human lifespans. It will be headed by Arthur Levinson, the former CEO of biotechnology pioneer Genentech. Levinson will also be an investor in the California company.

Why the name Calico? The moniker has multiple meanings. The founders have said they liked the fact that “Calico” sounds like a truncated version of “California Life Co.” Another is a reference to the breed of cats. Cats have nine lives. And Calico will attempt to extend life itself.

For more on Google’s new venture as well as an exclusive look at what drives CEO Larry Page, read the Sept. 30 issue of TIME.