After the success achieved with the Human Genome Project, that was promoted by the U.S. Government, and has the objective of establishing the location of all the genes in the human DNA, Barack Obama presented last Tuesday during a press conference at the White House, which would be considered as the most ambitious project of the time.
Referred to as “Brain initiative” will involve dozens of neurologists interested in obtaining more knowledge about the perception, action and, ultimately, the conscience.
Likewise, several professionals in the area of research, medicine, and engineering, will be in charge of drawing the map of the human brain activity.
The project will start with the development of the map of the human genome from 2014, with an initial budget of $100 million.
A key part of this initiative is the development of new technologies, as well as innovative materials that may become essential to the understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and as a process of finding new treatments for a variety of mental illnesses.
The starting point for this plan are new technologies, because thank them the scientists have been able to isolate and identify neurons, which have resulted in numerous projects of brain research worldwide.
Despite this, the brain that is composed of 100 billion neurons, is still the most complex organ of the human body and one of the greatest scientific mysteries, it has so much complexity that scientists still could not find a way to record the activity of more than one small number of neurons at the same time. In the majority of cases, these interventions are made with probes that are too invasive to the brain.
The team is formed by Cori Bargmann, of Rockefeller University and William Newsome, of Stanford University, and has been described as a dream team.
Also three government agencies will form part of the project: the national institute of health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.