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Obama Proposes $100M "BRAIN" Research Initiative

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President Barack Obama announced in Washington, D.C. Tuesday that he wants Congress to spend $100 million on research to help "map" the human brain and begin to understand how the brain functions and find causes for some neurological disorders.

The president was joined by Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, to talk about the proposed Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies project, or "BRAIN Initiative."

The president wants the research to try to discover cures for traumatic injuries and epilepsy and how to reverse the effects of a stroke.

Cori Bargmann of Rockefeller University and William Newsome of Stanford University are going to lead the federal researchers from NIH, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.

Obama said in addition to creating jobs, the research could improve the lives of billions of people worldwide.

"As humans, we can identify galaxies light years away, we can study particles smaller than an atom, but we still haven't unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears," Obama said.

"It's exactly that kind of innovation that holds immense potential, not just for the families whose lives it will change, but also for spurring new jobs and business opportunities," said Collins.

The president said the research could also provide invaluable information into the causes of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

He hopes universities and private companies will join in the research.

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