Nach dem erfolgreichen Human Genom Project steht in den USA nun das nächste biowissenschaftliche Großprojekt an: Eine Komplett-Kartographie des Gehirns. Originellerweise nennt man die Angelegenheit Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative (BRAIN).

The Economist zählt mögliche Ergebnisse auf:

If the researchers get really lucky, they might stumble across the secret of consciousness and thus answer one of the biggest questions of all. Or they might work out, by seeing how large networks of nerve cells process information, how to build computers in different and better ways. They may reveal the details of how brains learn things. They could explain the mechanisms of currently mysterious conditions such as schizophrenia and autism, which seem to originate in the ways nerve cells are connected. And they might come to understand dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease, that threaten to cripple both many elderly people and the budgets of rich countries, whose populations are ageing rapidly.

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