Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Paul Allen's Brain Atlas

All I can really say is, "Wow! Thanks a lot, Paul!" A few years ago, Microsoft billionaire co-founder, Paul Allen, funded the Allen Institute for Brain Science with $100 million. Half the money was earmarked for lab research and the rest was to fund a sub-project called the Allen Brain Atlas. The Brain Atlas was just recently completed and is now up and running online HERE. Even more remarkable was that the project came in $9 million underbudget (!) and Paul Allen has put their entire project online for free access to everyone. The research is based on mice brains which turn out to be genetically similar to human brains. The site is absolutely a gem and I encourage everyone to take a look at this wonderful gift.

For those few of you who have been living in a cave somewhere on the outer borders of Pakistan and may not know Paul Allen, he co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with partner, Bill Gates. Here's his Wikipedia biography. In 1983, he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease, forcing him to leave the Company and pursue aggressive treatment. He eventually recovered but never really went back to work at Microsoft full-time like his old partner, Bill Gates. As a direct result of his personal life exepriences, some of Paul Allen's philanthropy has included a lot of generous funding for medical research and brain studies in particular. Looks like we're all about to benefit once again from his generosity.

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