Just a quick note to tell you about the PBS show that aired last night about Paul Allen’s

Brain Institute and the remarkable things that are happening there.

You can find a transcript of the show at:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/july-dec06/brain_11-29.html

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Here are few excerpts from the show:

SUSAN DENTZER: One researcher who’s used the Allen Brain Atlas is Dr. Susan Swedo. She oversees autism research at the National Institute of Mental Health.

DR. SUSAN SWEDO: To be able to go online and just map various areas of the brain and what genes are being expressed in that area is phenomenal. I, in five minutes, was able to do what used to take a graduate student four years for one tiny, little nerve cell connection, and now they have it for the entire brain.

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A few unexpected findings from the Brain Institute:

*80 percent of all the genes expressed elsewhere in the body are also expressed in the brain. That sheds light on how the human species found new uses for the body’s genes as our brains evolved.

*Most genes active in the brain are turned on in multiple regions, not just one.

(Apparently, the Allen Brain Institute’s next step is to make a map of the human cortex, the part of the brain associated with higher functions, such as thinking.)

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And finally, here are a few other quotes from the show…… DR. SUSAN SWEDO: I think that we have reason to hope that, within our lifetime, we’re going to know what causes autism, and we’re going to have meaningful treatments and prevention strategies. The value of the Brain Atlas is it has just leapfrogged us to the next level of understanding.………………………………………………..

DR. GREGORY FOLTZ: I’m not sure what to compare it to in the history of medicine, but I can tell you that it’s going to be something that we will look back on decades from now and say that we were there when this was discovered. I believe it’ll have widespread impact on all patients who have neurologic disease.

And from Paul Allen:

 “The world will develop new treatments for these diseases over the next few decades, I believe. So if what we did was a key to making any of that happen, that will be just incredibly rewarding for everyone involved.”

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Way to go, Paul!

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