Latest on the White House BRAIN initiative…

From ScienceInsider here. Money quote paraphrasing Janelia Farm Director Gerald Rubin:

That something-for-everyone approach, however, means that the $40 million that NIH has pledged to the project will run out long before it meets its goals

There are two central issues here I think: first, without a real “new money” appropriation of some sort, the program is always going to have just a hint of vaporware. Second, in the current sequestration environment, BRAIN funding will be part of a zero-sum game with other life sciences federal R&D investments. The two issues are related of course.