Normally, the headlines in my New York Times are pretty gloomy, but the lead headline yesterday made me smile: “Obama Seeking To Boost Study of Human Brain”. Bring on those research dollars! More research on the brain, whether fundamental or applied, can only help people with Parkinson’s. The 2/18/13 article about the “Brain Activity Map Project” describes plans for research which hopes to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics. Scientists planning the project hope that federal financing would be more than $300 million a year and eventually at least $3 billion over the project’s decade-long timeframe. The project will be proposed in President Obama’s budget proposal coming up next month.
If your reaction to this news is “Nice, but wasteful government spending,”, the article has some eye-opening stats about the comparable Human Genome Project:
–Name: Human Genome Project
–Goal: Map complete human genome
–Cost: $3.8 billion
–End: 2003 (ahead of schedule!)
And here’s the biggie:
–Return on investment: $800 billion (by 2010)…21,053% !!
In contrast: Afghanistan war, FY2012: $311 million A DAY
Return on investment: $000,000.00