Rockefeller University

Mice are our friends

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Allen Institute scientists try to decode mouse brain to understand our own | Local News | The Seattle Times.

DSC00021It’s not often – or ever – that I would tout the beauty and benefits of mice, especially since where I live in a very rural part of my city, mice are a force with which to be reckoned during their annual winter attempts to seek warmth in crawl spaces, attics, and home interiors.

Today, however, I am making a one-time exception because it appears that mice brains have become very valuable in the medical and science worlds’ attempts to map the human brain, and mapping the human brain contributes to the effort of solving brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  I’ll leave it up to you to read the full article, attached above, because my efforts at summarizing scientific jargon would fall short of doing that science justice.

What I will say, however, is that I am extraordinarily excited that valid attempts are being made to decipher the science of our brains; attempts that generate hope in the lives of those of us who have personally experienced the destruction of a loved one’s brain by Alzheimer’s – a disease that I’ve been known to call “a murderer.”  Read my article, Alzheimer’s disease is a murderer to understand the full impact of my feelings on the subject matter.

I know that a lot of behind the scenes research is being done to eradicate a disease that is always fatal, but we aren’t always privy to what that research looks like.  I’ve read numerous horrific statistics about the numbers of people who have – and will have – Alzheimer’s in the years to come.  Part of those statistics include the detailed monetary impact on society as a whole, as well as the personal and emotional costs to each of us who have dealt with, and who have yet to deal with, the disease’s intrusion into our lives.

I congratulate the Seattle Times and the New York Times, for publishing the above article.  And I sincerely thank the Allen Institute for Brain Science for taking on a task whose efforts will benefit every last one of us in this country, and around the world.

You are my hero Paul Allen.  Keep up the good work.