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Allen Institute for Brain Science Launches Three New Landmark Atlas Projects Focusing on the Human Brain, Developing Brain and Spinal Cord
Date:3/12/2008

nd multidisciplinary reach."

Recognizing that the atlases can exponentially advance the global understanding of many diseases and disorders that afflict millions, the Allen Institute has been successful in bringing diverse groups together to fund a common project by providing centralized databases of information that an individual researcher might spend a lifetime trying to gather.

"By putting our data in the hands of scientists studying devastating diseases and disorders such as autism, obesity, epilepsy, schizophrenia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), these new projects will enable the work of many researchers, industries and organizations," said Elaine Jones, Chief Operating Officer at the Allen Institute. "We believe that free access to our unique resources is the best way to encourage widespread use and collaboration, which ultimately could expedite progress toward life-changing medical breakthroughs."

Mapping the Human Brain

Building on new technology and information gained in the development of its inaugural project, the ABA-Mouse Brain, which was completed in 2006, the Institute will develop the ABA-Human Brain, the world's first human brain atlas that overlays information about gene activity onto a three-dimensional anatomic map. For the first time and using a fresh approach to human brain mapping, the Institute will create a unique resource for understanding genes at work in the human brain and combining information about gene activity with existing anatomic and functional knowledge.

Currently, about 26 percent of American adults -- close to 58 million people -- suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This atlas will enable researchers and clinicians worldwide to advance understanding of brain diseases and disorders and speed progress toward breakthrough therapies.

"Ultimately, understanding the anatomic basis of gene expression in the normal brain will enable us to more effectively target
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SOURCE Allen Institute for Brain Science
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