Why Is Microsoft’s Paul Allen So Interested in Mouse Brains?

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has got a lot on his plate these days: he’s housed the homeless; owns the Seattle Seahawks; funds the Northwest’s answer to SXSW, the Upstream Music Festival; dipped his fingers into aerospace tech; and joined the fight against Ebola, to name a just a few endeavors. Of all of Allen’s investments and charitable giving, through, one project stands out: Paul Allen has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to peer inside the tiny, tiny brains of mice. He’s funded the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle to the tune of half a billion dollars in the hopes that one day humans will better understand the machinery inside our head. The institute recently released an enormous dataset showing, in cellular detail, which neurons in a mouse’s…


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