More neuroscientists soon to get aboard the BRAIN train

The BRAIN initiative launched by the Obama administration in 2013—all caps because it’s an acronym for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies—just received an infusion of $70 million in fresh funding for new projects, the NIH announced Oct. 13.

Over the last three years the initiative has backed such breakthroughs as the blueprinting of a brain-scanning helmet, the mapping of a see-through fish brain and the designing of drugs to turn neurons on or off.

NIH says the new funding will go to grants in numerous categories, including next-generation human imaging.

Researchers will “test new ideas and methods for scanning brain activity, such as trying to distinguish between the activity of neurons versus the equally common glial cell,” the agency explained in a press release.

The announcement comes as just one part of a broad stroke by the White House, announced separately, to “encourage Americans to imagine our Nation and the world in 50 years and beyond, and to explore America’s potential to broaden participation and advance towards the frontiers that will make the world healthier, more prosperous, more equitable and more secure.”