Slowly but surely we are finding out more about President Obama’s massive $100 million research initiative to better understand how the brain works, and the more they tell us, the more impressive it sounds.
“Imagine if we could reverse traumatic brain injury or PTSD for our veterans who are coming home … That’s what we’re imagining. That’s what we’re hoping for,” said the President on Tuesday, at an announcement for the project to a crowd of neurologists and surgeons.
To many in the medical community, those are quite bold goals, similar to landing a man on the moon. That’s exactly what officials are comparing it to, along with the human genome project, and the President addressed the huge task facing the scientists head on saying, “they’re ambitious goals, but they’re achievable,” according to Stars and Stripes.
The project will see medical schools and private firms working alongside government institutes to develop a map of neural pathways and chemical structures in the brain. That undertaking requires tracking trillions of microscopic mental activities, which won’t be possible without cutting edge computers and programs, data storage systems, and analytic approaches.
The other component of the project is the creation of applications based on the findings of the research and finding ways to apply any news to improving the lives of returning troops and veterans.
As stated before, the project has an estimated lifespan of ten years. It all seems a little hard to believe but I imagine most never thought a man would walk on the moon or that we would ever have mapped out the entire human genetic code.
As Obama said, “We have a chance to improve the lives of not just millions, but billions of people on this planet, but it’s going to require a serious effort, a sustained effort.”