To keep everyone energized during the hot, hazy days of summer, I’ve decided to start a new series called Cool Videos. This virtual mini-film fest will feature a variety of videos—some even produced by researchers themselves—in which biomedical science plays a starring role.
Today’s feature (and my personal favorite) comes from the lab of Howard Weiner at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Set to the “Cups Song” from the movie “Pitch Perfect,” this video puts a human face on Alzheimer’s disease and features a few of the many researchers who are working so hard to find ways of treating and preventing this devastating brain disorder.
A cute black bear invaded the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD today (News article in Washington Post). After being chased and tranquilized it was moved off the campus. However, not before it gained popularity, and a hilarious twitter account (@NIH_Bear). Not only did the NIH Director Francis Collins (such a good sport) tweet to the NIH_Bear, but the bear made a bunch of funny comments about NIH and NIH funding. I post a few of my favorites below. I hope the NIH_Bear continues tweeting commentary on NIH, perhaps NIH should consider using the account as a promotional tool???
President Obama’s BRAIN initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) is designed to revolutionize the field of Neuroscience by developing tools to functionally map and structurally define the human brain. Today an NIH working group (made up of science powerhouses and nobel laureate) submitted an appraisal of required funding at…. 4.5 Billion dollars over a decade. Cori Bargmann, who led the working group stated that it amounted to, “about one six-pack of beer for each American over the entire 12 years of the program.” I do appreciate the idea of representing funding amounts in units of six-packs… way to go! The funding will be split between NIH, NSF, FDA, and DARPA. In my humble neuroscientist opinion, the BRAIN initiative is an example of funding innovation in a field that will truly benefit from it, and which in turn will benefit all of society! Summary article from ScienceMag.org here. NIH summary here.
“How the brain works and gives rise to our mental and intellectual lives will be the most exciting and challenging area of science in the 21st century,” said Dr. Collins. “As a result of this concerted effort, new technologies will be invented, new industries spawned, and new treatments and even cures discovered for devastating disorders and diseases of the brain and nervous system.”