This blog is part one in a series of three about the BigBrain. Do you remember the moment of putting on 3D glasses in a movie theater? There was awe and excitement as stories and images that were flat came to life. There was similar excitement yesterday when researchers reported in Science that they have created BigBrain, a high resolution 3D digital image of the brain. To understand the excitement, it’s important to understand that like a 3D movie, this image isn’t simply a flat picture of the brain. It is incredibly in-depth. Have you ever had an MRI? Well… Read More
From James Beck, Ph.D., Director of Research Programs Should or could a human gene be patented? On June 13th, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered their unanimous ruling regarding what has been called the Myraid Genetics case. The plaintiffs in this case sought to invalidate Myriad’s patent on two genes that when mutated can lead to a significant increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Because of the patent for these two genes, Myriad, a clinical diagnostic testing company, was the only entity that was permitted to perform the clinical tests that can both inform women if they… Read More
Just a few weeks ago, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s grants review committee – comprising scientists and patient advocates – took on the task of deciding which of the 200 research grant applications we received would be approved for funding. PDF had the resources to fund only 10 worthy projects. Researchers working on innovative, viable projects continually face the challenge of limited available funding. And funders, such as government agencies and foundations like PDF, have to make difficult choices based on available resources. How can PDF meet the challenge to find sufficient funds to support the most promising research in tough economic… Read More
Yesterday kicked off an exciting and intensive two-day gathering of researchers, health care providers, administrators, patient organizations, people with Parkinson’s and care partners on Long Island, NY. We gathered for the 2013 Merinoff Symposium, “Leveraging Telemedicine to Deliver the Highest Quality of Care to All Parkinson’s Patients,” hosted by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at North Shore–LIJ Health System and co-hosted by PDF, other national Parkinson’s organizations and telemedicine organizations.
Have you ever been part of a Parkinson’s research study? This Parkinson’s Awareness Month, PDF says thank you for helping to bring about better treatments at a faster pace. After all, the only way that new treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s can be found is by ordinary people taking the extraordinary step of volunteering in studies.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), introduced him as the “Scientist in Chief.” And he introduced himself as “the kid who had trouble with high-school physics.” But there was no mistaking the passion for his subject of the man who stood in front of us in the East Room of the White House this morning, announcing a major federal initiative in brain science. It was President Obama at his rhetorical best, mixing easy banter with a deeply serious expression of his commitment to the brain research initiative that he described as the “next great American… Read More