Wearable brain scanners and lasers that can turn hundreds of cells on and off were among 58 projects awarded $46 million in federal grants as part of President Obama’s $100 million initiative to unlock the secrets of the human brain.
Launched in 2013, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is designed to give scientists greater insight into how the healthy brain works and a better understanding of what systems go awry in diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to schizophrenia.
“The human brain is the most complicated biological structure in the known universe. We?ve only just scratched the surface in understanding how it works ? or, unfortunately, doesn’t quite work when disorders and disease occur,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the federal agency distributing the $46 million in grants.
He likened the funding to his involvement in the early days of the Human Genome Project, the program that uncovered the precise sequence of 3 billion molecules common to the vast majority of humans’ DNA.
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