The NYT reports on Google's interest in working with life science data.
In the article a Google Ventures exec floats a trial balloon about the potential opportunity for GOOG which got me excited: "“In a given year, you have 200 million pathology slides. If that gets online, it is a Big Data problem.”
In other words, the company that has a huge effort underway in digitizing and sharing books could take on the same role in specimen data. Imagine how research might accelerate if the problem of accessing and curating specimen data became as easy as searching on Google, and if the accessible sample data population were to multiply at no cost.
This is very exciting. I don't see a viable business model yet (beyond NIH funding), but then again I don't really see a business model for GOOG's book scanning project. Perhaps someday GOOG will see your pathology data and play a role in reaching a diagnosis?!?