Wednesday, March 6, 2013

BRAIN links


Please find the updated version of this post on the tab above:


Here be a repository for BAM BRAIN Initiative links!  If you have something I've missed (and I've probably missed tons) then please comment or hit me up @jipkin.  I'll endeavor to update this as the story progresses.

On the Internets:

Physical Principles for Scalable Neural Recording (arXiv) (July 2, 2013)
Physical principles for scalable neural recording (John Hewitt, medical express) (July 2, 2013)

Building a Brain (CBC Quirks) (June 22, 2013)
Hunting for the Brain's Hidden Treasures (SciAm, Dwayne Godwin, Jorge Chan) (July 1, 2013)
Reviewing the BRAIN Project (ASMB today, Jeremy Berg) (June, 2013)
Why mapping the brain matters (Nature Methods, editorial) (May 30, 2013)

Why You Should Care about Pentagon Funding of Obama’s BRAIN Initiative (SciAm, John Horgan) (May 22, 2013)
Update on the Great BRAINI Debates (Nucleus Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) (May 12, 2013)
My thoughts on the first BRAIN initiative meeting (Dam Bumbarger) (May 9, 2013)
Where are the BRAINI women? (Erin McKiernan) (May 9, 2013)
Neuroscientists put heads together at national brainstorming session (Medical Express, John Hewitt) (May 8, 2013) 
BRAIN feedback at NIH (NIH)
BRAIN Initiative (Scientopia, DrugMonkey) (May 7, 2013)
Workshop on the Physical and Mathematical Principles of Brain Structure and Function (NSF) (May 5-7, 2013)
#nsfBRAINmtg live blogging of DATA topic , THEORY , ELECTRICAL (Joshua Vogelstein, May 6, 2013)
livestream channel with VODs of nsfBRAINmtg (Livestream, May 5-7, 2013)
Neuroscientists brainstorm goals for US brain-mapping initiative (Nature, Helen Shen) (May 6, 2013)

From BAM to The BRAIN Initiative: A clearer view of a major neuroscience enterprise (The Incubator, Gabrielle Rabinowitz) (May 3, 2013)   

Interview with BRAIN Project Pioneer: Miyoung Chun (MIT tech review, Jason Pontin) (April 15, 2013) 
The BRAIN Initiative, first thoughts (Scientopia, DrugMonkey) (April 15, 2013) 
Why The Human BRAIN Initiative Is So Important To All Of Us! (HuffPo, Daniel Burrus) (April 17, 2013) [this is a funnily terrible article] 

An open letter to Larry Swanson: Why it is important for neuroscientists to debate the Brain Initiative in public (Justin Kiggins) (April 15, 2013) 
2 More Reasons Why Big Brain Projects Are Premature (SciAm, John Horgan) (April 10, 2013)

The ENCODE project: Missteps overshadowing a success (Current Biology, Sean Eddy) (April 8, 2013)
The BRAIN Initiative: BAM or BUST? (SciAm, Scicurious) (April 8, 2013)
The Moon is not Made of Cheese and Other Hypotheses (Nucleus Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) (April 8, 2013)

Skepticism about Obama's Brain Project (New Savanna, Bill Benzon) (April 7, 2013)
To crack human brain's code, a search for visionaries (Reuters, Deborah Zabarenko) (April 7, 2013)
What do you think of Obama's proposed "BRAIN Initiative"? (Quora discussion) (April 7, 2013)
Neuroscience needs its Einstein (Salon, Jonathon Keats) (April 6, 2013) 
Some still skeptical of BRAIN initiative as details remain fuzzy (Fierce Biotech Research, Emily Mullin) (April 5, 2013)
Obama's Brain Map Initiative Needs a Rethinking (Live Science, Donald Stein) (April 6, 2013)
Colbert gets fake EEG'd (Oscillatory Thoughts, Bradley Voytek) (April 4, 2013)  

Now or Then: Which Big Science Project are These Scientists Worked Up About (Wired, Greg Miller) (April 5, 2013)
A Leader of Obama's New BRAIN Initiative Explains Why We Need It (Wired, Greg Miller) (April 3, 2013) 
As White House Embraces BRAIN Initiative, Questions Linger (Science Insider, Emily Underwood) (April 3, 2013) 
Will Obama's new $100m brain mapping project be open access? (Open Knowledge) (April 4, 2013)
From Junk DNA to Junk Economics: Beware the Inexorable Sovietization of Big Science (Bio IT, Bill Frezza) (April 3, 2013) 
BRAIN (Scientopia, Neuropolarbear) (April 3, 2013) 
On The Frontiers of Brain Research (NYTimes, Editorial Board) (April 2, 2013) 
Obama's BRAIN Initiative (The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert) (April 4, 2013) 

BRAIN Initiative Challenges Researchers to Unlock Mysteries of Human Mind (whitehouse) (April 2, 2013)
Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative (NIH) (April 2, 2013)
DARPA/NIH/OSTP Twitter Q&A (whitehouse) (April 2, 2013)
President Obama Speaks on the BRAIN Initiative and American Innovation (whitehouse) (April 2, 2013)

A New Push To Explore the Brain (The Loom, Carl Zimmer) (April 2, 2013)
Obama's BRAIN Initiative is a huge boost for new neurotechnology (extremetech, John Hewitt) (April 3, 2013)
President Obama's brain map project is hardly the next Human Genome (guardian, Erin McKiernan) (April 2, 2013)
Introducing the BRAIN Initiative (empiricalplanet, Jason Pipkin)
BRAIN Initiative (nee BAM) Made Officially Palatable (Nucleus Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) (April 2, 2013)
Obama: 'Braaaaaaains.' Partha Mitra: 'Whoa there, buddy.' (WaPo Wonkblog, Dylan Matthews) (April 3, 2013) this is misleadingly titled... Mitra is actually pretty much ok with the latest proposal from his answers.
Obama Invests in Brain-Mapping Project (KQED) (April 3, 2013) hate this title - they removed the "map" part for a reason when they went from BAM to BRAIN.
Barack Obama, Neuroscientist in Chief? (Brain Facts, Dwayne Goodwin) 

BAM, federal funding, and patents (Erin McKiernan) (March 30, 2013)
Somewhere Over the Brainbow: The Journey To Map the Human Brain (NPR) (March 31, 2013)
BAM's (officially) coming! (empiricalplanet, Jason Pipkin)

Is Brain Mapping Ready for Big Science? (GenEngNews, Patricia Dimond) (March 29, 2013) Rafael Yuste: More Bucks for the BAM (Nucleus Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) (March 14, 2013)
Obama's Brain Activity Map Needs a Compass (Real Clear Science, Brad Dickerson) (March 13, 2013)
The Three-Billion Dollar Brain (New Yorker, Gary Marcus) (March 12, 2013)
What's Not Wrong with the BAM Project and How to Fix It (Nucleus Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) (March 10, 2013)
Do the BAM Proponents Even Understand Open Access? (Nucleus Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) (March 9, 2013) 
Hard Cell (The Economist) (March 9, 2013)
Clarifying BAM (empiricalplanet) (March 7, 2013)

Behind the scenes of a brain mapping moon shot (Nature, Meredith Wadman) (March 6, 2013)
What's Wrong with the Brain Activity Map Project (Scientific American, Partha Mitra) (March 5, 2013)
Partha Mitra Makes no Sense (to me) (empiricalplanet, Jason Pipkin) (March 5, 2013) 
What is the Brain Activity Map? George Church Q&A (Kurzweil) (March 4, 2013) 
The Bloating of BAM and how to sell big brain science (empiricalplanet, Jason Pipkin) (March 3, 2013)

What's a connectome good for anyway? (empiricalplanet, Jason Pipkin) (March 1, 2013)
Proposed Brain Activity Map may also advance nanotechnology (Foresight, James Lewis) (March 1, 2013)
How the Brain Activity Map came together (Spoonful of Medicine, Nature Blog, Virginia Hughes) (March 1, 2013)
Neuroscience! Because Alzheimer's! (NeuroDojo, Zen Faulkes) (Feb 28, 2013)
BAM and the Molecular Ticker Tape (Nucleus, Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) - love this one! (Feb 27, 2013)
Bang or BAM? On respecting complex problems (Pascal's Pensees, Pascal Wallisch) (Feb 27, 2013)

A Manhattan Project to Map the Brain? (Brain Facts, Dwayne Godwin) (Feb 27, 2013)
A 3 Billion Dollar Mistake (The Incubator, Gabrielle Rabinowitz) (Feb 25, 2013)
Finding the Treasure: A practical view on where the Brain Activity Map will lead us (Neurdiness, Grace Lindsay) (Feb 24, 2013) 
BAM Matters (Nucleus Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) (Feb 24, 2013)
Brain activity map: boondoggle or bonanza? (Out of the Fog, Chris Palmer [former labmate of mine!]) (Feb 24, 2013)

Brain Project Draws Presidential Interest (Science Insider, Emily Underwood and Jocelyn Kaiser) - source of some good info! (Feb 20, 2013)
BAM! My thoughts on Big Bucks for Big Brain Science (Nucleus Ambiguous, Michael Carroll) (Feb 19, 2013)
BAM! Let's do neuroscience!(empiricalplanet, Jason Pipkin) (Feb 18, 2013)
BAM! Mind control! (empiricalplanet, Jason Pipkin) (Feb 18, 2013)
Brain Activity Map: Every Spike from Every Neuron (Bob Blum) - nice science overview! (Feb 18, 2013)

Major Media:

Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain (original newsbreak - NY Times)
Connecting the Neural Dots (NY Times follow-up)
Brain Activity Map Project (wikipedia)
Science Chronology:
Chicheley Meeting White Paper (no link, but there existed a white paper made by some of the people who met at the Kavli International Meeting in September 2011.  This would later go on to become BAM)
The Brain Activity Map Project and the Challenge of Functional Connectomics (June 2012, Neuron.  Initial look at what six of the scientists involved came up with).  
Data Deluge from the Brain Activity Map (Summary from January 2013 Caltech meeting)
The Brain Activity Map (Science, BAM major players)
Nanotools for Neuroscience and Brain Activity Mapping (ACS Nano, BAM players) 

Science Background:

Of Toasters and Molecular Ticker Tapes (PLOS compbio - first suggestion of using DNA to record neural activity at single-spike resolution, I believe)
Sequencing the Connectome (PLOS bio - Tony Zador group idea that might be explored with BAM)

Steering Committee:

Cori Bargmann
Bill Newsome
David Anderson
Emery Brown
Karl Deisseroth
John Donoghue
Peter MacLeish
Eve Marder
Richard Norman
Joshua Sanes
Mark Schnitzer
Terry Sejnowski
David Tank
Roger Tsien
Kamil Ugurbil

Ex Officio members:
Kathy Hudson (NIH) (went to my alma mater apparently)
Geoffrey Ling (DARPA)  
Note that this committee is dominated by scientists, not technologists.  I'm told that this was the intent - to only include tech people that were interested in applications (Ugurbil, Tsien, Deisseroth) not for the sake of tech.  The ostensible goal of this committee is to rally the larger neuro community and design the 2014 project goals, then the later goals. 

Major Players:

Rafael Yuste (includes some good links to his media appearances) 
George Church
Miyoung Chun
Ralph Greenspan
Paul Alivisatos
Michael Roukes
John Donoghue
Terry Sejnowski
Larry Swanson
Clay Reid
Christof Koch
Karl Deisseroth
Eve Marder 
Sebastian Seung
Paul McEuen
Paul Weiss



  1. Oh wow, I don't think I've ever been quoted for gossip. I feel like I belong in the TMZ of neuroscience!

  2. Great list, thanks for putting this together. Hope you keep adding to the content.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. What do you think about the idea of a Google Plus Community? I was going to create one, but I found your site with these links.

    1. I think that's a great idea. Feel free to start one - I'd love to join and contribute/discuss!

  5. Okay, I created it. Please feel free to invite whoever :)

  6. In case you are interested, here is a letter my lab wrote to Obama about the BRAIN Initiative:

    1. I think that letter should be sent to Cori Bargmann and Bill Newsom!

      We don't know exactly what's going to come out of this first 100M investment. There will be technology development, but I wager highly that it will be linked to specific hypothesis-driven experiments. And most if not all of the technology will be to study neural activity - not map anatomy (the use of "map" has been misleading from the beginning).

      It's also unclear how much of the money will be directed to work in humans - although I think more will be than was initially discussed. Look, for instance, for investments of the DARPA money in better brain-computer interfaces (Donoghue's work).