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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

abnormal gene expression in individual patients with brain cancer," said Dr. Greg Foltz, a neurosurgeon at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. "As we move into the new era of personalized medicine, understanding the variability between individuals with highly heterogeneous diseases will be fundamental to developing effective treatment strategies. The human brain atlas will provide a critical resource for any scientist or physician interested in treating diseases of the brain."

When completed in approximately four years, the ABA-Human Brain will provide the scientific community with a comprehensive map of gene activity in the human brain. The key features include a quantitative inventory of which genes are turned on in each brain structure and a finer-resolution image database pinpointing to the cellular level where a selected list of high-value genes are turned on.

Understanding the Developing Brain

The ABA-Developing Mouse Brain will provide new insights into how a brain develops and matures. For this two-year project, the Institute will develop a highly detailed map of gene activity in the developing mouse brain. The resulting atlas will comprise an extensive image database showing where several thousand genes are expressed, or "turned on," in the mouse brain at multiple stages of development, from before birth through adulthood. In addition, it will show gene expression in various organs within the embryo.

"The developing brain atlas provides a molecular narrative of how the genetic map of the brain unfolds in space and time," said Dr. David Anderson, professor of biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the California Institute of Technology. "The atlas will be invaluable in gaining insight into the origins of certain behavioral disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, which are increasingly thought to result from abnormalities of brain development."

This new atlas holds promise for furthering under
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SOURCE Allen Institute for Brain Science
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