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Obama unveils $100M program to map human brain

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday outlined a government-sponsored initiative to map the human brain, casting the proposal as a way to discover new cures for neurological disease and strengthen the economy.

"Ideas are what power our economy," Obama said as he announced the proposal from the East Room of the White House. "When we invest in the best ideas before anybody else does, our businesses and our workers can make the best products and deliver the best services before anybody else."

The project would use about $100 million in federal money over the next fiscal year to begin a long-term effort to better understand the brain. Those funds will be included in Obama's budget proposal, scheduled for release next week, and would be combined with annual private-sector investments of roughly an equal amount.

Obama has spoken frequently during his presidency about using federal money in partnership with academia and business to foster projects with broader economic and social benefits. And the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative represents one of Obama's most ambitious efforts to do so.

Obama named Alzheimer's disease, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder among the afflictions that could be better understood, if not cured, through this initiative.

"As humans we can identify galaxies light-years away, we can study particles smaller than an atom," Obama said. "But we still haven't unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears."

President Barack Obama announces the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative at the White House on Tuesday.

Associated Press

President Barack Obama announces the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative at the White House on Tuesday.


Health care subsidies could raise tax bills

Millions of people who accept government subsidies to help buy health insurance next year could get stung by surprise tax bills later on. Starting next year, President Barack Obama's health care law will offer subsidies to help people buy private health insurance based on income. The lower your income, the bigger your subsidy. Unless you tell the government otherwise, it will rely on your 2012 tax return for an income estimate. If you get a bigger subsidy than you qualify for, you must repay at least part of the money when you file your 2014 tax return.

Associated Press

Obama unveils $100M program to map human brain 04/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:11pm]
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