View Full Version : Philanthropist launches online brain map

09-28-2006, 03:30 PM
He's the fifth-richest man in America, worth $16 billion. He owns two professional sports teams, football's Seattle Seahawks and basketball's Portland Trailblazers. He's a real estate developer, philanthropist, venture capitalist and the lead guitarist in the rock band Grown Men.

And now, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has a Web-based, three-dimensional atlas named for him, one that maps the genes in a mouse brain. The Allen Brain Atlas, unveiled Tuesday, may have life-changing implications for humans as scientists search for cures to such brain disorders as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism and even depression and addiction.

Humans and mice have in common more than 90 percent of their genes; the atlas represents a significant step in understanding the human brain, scientists say. Ultimately, they say, the atlas may also help unlock the mysteries of how people think, see, feel, hurt and experience other emotions and sensations that fly around the 1 quadrillion communications points in the brain.

"It's a touchstone for everyone working on the brain," Allen said. "There is an opportunity to by the end of the century have a better understanding of the brain, its diseases and how to cure them."

Allen established an institute for brain science in Seattle and provided $100 million in seed money as researchers embarked on a three-year quest to map the 21,000 active genes in a mouse brain. The genes were detected in various sections of the brain, filled with a photogenic substance and then photographed by automated microscopes and uploaded into a computer.

Link: http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/living/health/15627705.htm

09-28-2006, 03:32 PM
Link to Paul Allen's site: