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About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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January 28, 2008

NIO bets big in capital

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Zack%20Lynch%20Neurotech%20SF%20Business%20Times.jpgRon Leuty at The San Francisco Business Times interviewed me last week and the result was the following pithy article: Neuroscience organization bets big in capital: Industry group seeks $200M to research brain abnormalities

A young, San Francisco-based trade organization representing neuroscience companies has lined up companies nationally and heavy hitters in the nation's capital to lobby for a $200 million superfund to help bring products to market for brain and nervous system diseases ranging from Alzheimer's to insomnia.

The 17-month-old Neurotechnology Industry Organization is working with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP -- the New York law firm also known as K&L Gates, as in William Gates Sr., the father of Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates -- to push its plan in Washington, D.C.

The NIO's five-part plan, dubbed a "Human Genome Project for the brain" by Executive Director Zack Lynch, would earmark:

* $80 million for the National Institutes of Health's "Blueprint for Neuroscience Research," developed by 16 institutes that offer grants for neuroscience issues ranging from depression and Parkinson's Disease to spinal cord research and traumatic brain injury;
* $75 million to the NIH's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for neuroscience startups and research;
* $30 million to increase staffing and training at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce a regulatory bottleneck that has delayed approval of some therapies;
* $10 million a year for studying the societal implications -- including ethical and legal questions -- of advancing neurotechnologies; and
* $5 million annually for a national neurotechnology coordination office to aggregate what federal agencies as diverse as the NIH and the Department of Defense are doing in neurotech.

The plan would accelerate bringing neuroscience innovations to patient bedsides, Lynch said. Parts of the program, like SBIR and STTR, also would help create new companies in neurotech centers like the Bay Area, Lynch said.

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January 17, 2008

Many Faces of a Face - Neuroesthetics

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Posted by Zack Lynch

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This Saturday at UC Berkeley the Seventh International Conference on Neuroesthetics will feature renowned scientists discuss the brain’s responses to identity of faces, social perception, neural basis of facial expression processing and aesthetics of human faces. Talks have the following titles: "Perceiving the Actions, Goals and Intentions of Others: Brain Mechanisms for Social Perception", "Face blindness: the perceptual and neural bases of prosopagnosia", "The Gender, Ethnicity and Individual Identity of Faces", "In the Eye of the Beholder: How Personality Affects the Neural Basis of Facial Expression Processing", "Colour and Aesthetics of Human Faces", "Normal and abnormal face processing in human observers", "Neural basis of face perception in humans", "Make Faces: Automatically Transfer Expressions Between Characters." See you there.

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January 4, 2008

NERV vs. NBI vs. NASDAQ

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Posted by Zack Lynch

This is some cool new software code that Yahoo! has made available for building your own stock tracking systems. This allows us to easily track the Nasdaq NeuroInsights Neurotech Index vs. the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index vs. the Nasdaq Composite.




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