Allen Institute for Brain Science
The Allen Institute for Brain Science is a Seattle-based nonprofit medical research organization that was launched in 2003 with a $100 million seed donation from philanthropist, founder and former Microsoft executive Paul Allen.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science is an independent, nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to accelerating the understanding of how the human brain works. The Allen Institute generates innovative public resources used by researchers and organizations around the globe and drives technological and analytical advances that create new knowledge and provide new ways to address questions about the brain in health and disease. The Allen Institute's work and efforts are intended to fuel innovation and discovery for the scientific community worldwide.
The institute uses a variety of techniques such as in situ hybridization in order to identify the functional associations of genes that are expressed in the brain (as in the case of the Human and Mouse Brain Atlases) or spinal cord (as is the case in the institute's new project).  This data is then made freely available so that other researches can take advantage of it in making their own discoveries.
Online public resources
The Allen Institute for Brain Science provides researchers and educators with a variety of unique online public resources for exploring the nervous system. Integrating extensive gene expression data and neuroanatomy, complete with sophisticated data search and viewing tools, these resources are all openly accessible via the Allen Brain Atlas data portal and include:
- Allen Mouse Brain Atlas
- Allen Spinal Cord Atlas
- Allen Developing Mouse Brain Atlas
- Allen Human Brain Atlas
- and several others.
Spinal cord map
On 16 July 2008, the Allen Institute for Brain Science launched the online "Allen Spinal Cord Atlas" (backed by a diverse consortium of funders including the ALS Association, PVA Research Foundation, Wyeth Research, PEMCO Insurance, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, International Spinal Research Trust, philanthropist and Allen Institute founder Paul Allen, as well as other anonymous donors). Allan Jones, PhD, now chief executive officer of the Allen Institute, said: "The Allen Spinal Cord Atlas offers profound potential for researchers to unlock the mysteries of the spinal cord and how it is altered during disease or injury".
The spinal cord atlas is an interactive, genome-wide map showing where each gene is expressed, or "turned on", throughout the mouse spinal cord. It is set up like the Allen Institute's earlier atlas of the adult mouse brain. The map could help reveal new treatments for human neurological disorders. The map points researchers toward places where genes are active
The Allen Institute for Brain Science was launched in 2003 with seed funding from founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and is supported by a diversity of public and private funds.
In 2012, the institute received an additional pledge of $300 million from Paul Allen.
- "61. Allen Institute for Brain Research". Brain Science Podcast. Sept. 11, 2009.
- alleninstitute.org, Public Resources overview
- Donor Acknowledgments for Allen Spinal Cord Atlas
- msnbc.com staff and news service reports (2006-09-26). "Institute unveils full atlas of mouse brain - Technology & science - Science | NBC News". MSNBC. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "Gene Search :: Spinal Cord". Mousespinal.brain-map.org. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "Gene map charts spinal cord mysteries - Health - Health care - More health news | NBC News". MSNBC. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "MapQuest For The Mouse Spinal Cord". Science News. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "Paul Allen gives $300 million to expand brain research". Reuters. 23 March 2012.
- Official website
- Allen Brain Atlas data portal
- PBS NewsHour, Gene Map of Brain Offers Hope for Alzheimer's, Autism
- Wired feature
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