TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Imagine being able to identify people likely to develop a particular disease — and then stop it before it starts.

This isn't a science fiction tale. It's the ambitious goal of three research projects just launched by Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical research arm, Janssen Research & Development, that the company says are aimed at redefining health care.

The projects announced Thursday ultimately aim to prevent illnesses, particularly ones related to aging and lifestyle. That way, as people live longer, fewer of their "golden years" are plagued by poor health, disability and staggering medical bills.

Instead, the world's biggest maker of health care products will try to find ways to prevent common, frightening and often deadly disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, heart disease, immune conditions and Type 1 diabetes.

(Story by: Linda A. Johnson, Business Writer, The Associated Press)