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Obama Announces New Brain Research Project

Update Date: Apr 02, 2013 10:48 AM EDT
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The Obama administration will announce later today its plans for a new research study that will look into outlining and mapping the pathways and functions of the brain in its quest to get answers for diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and autism. This plan to map the pathways of the brain has lasted over a decade long and this study will hopefully be able to carry out its research goals and provide groundbreaking discoveries. The project is called the "BRAIN Initiative," with BRAIN standing as an acronym for Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies." The project is one of the many goals that Obama wants to accomplished and had previously addressed in his State of the Union speech.

Obama had said in February "every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy - every dollar. Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer's."

Although the project aims to reveal findings about the brain that would help people with brain complications and disorders, it is a large and pricey project that will takes years to accomplish. The current cost of this project will be $100 billion taken from Obama's fiscal year 2014 budget. The government is optimistic that the return from this kind of project will benefit the economy and the people of the United States.

The White House has described the research study to be "a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and advance the President's vision for creating jobs and building a thriving middle class by investing in research and development," and added that "significant breakthroughs in how we treat neurological and psychiatric disease will require a new generation of tools to enable researchers to record signals from brain cells in much greater numbers and at even faster speeds."

The project is headed by The National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation. Along with these three government agencies, four private sector companies composing of The Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Kavli Foundation, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies will also be a part of the study.

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