America's neuroscience initiative
Apr 2nd 2013, 17:38 by G.C.
AFTER much trailing, the reality is out. On April 2nd Barack Obama announced that America’s government will back a project intended to unlock the mysteries of the human brain. It was, according to the trails, to have been known as the Brain Activity Map. Someone, however, has clearly spotted that BAM, as an acronym, is a hostage to fortune and the project is now to be known as the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative. By what is no doubt a complete coincidence, that spells “BRAIN”.
The crucial part of the initiative—the bit everyone had been waiting to hear—is the money. Mr Obama will ask Congress, in the budget he submits on April 10th, to approve $100m for its first year of operation. That is a small amount, compared with the $5½ billion spent each year on neuroscience by America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH). But it is more, even adjusted for inflation, than the $28m spent on the Human Genome Project in its first year.