$200 Million for Neuroscience

Columbia Gets $200M for Neuroscience Center

Mon Mar 20, 1:22 PM ET

AP: NEW YORK - Columbia University announced Monday that it has received a record $200 million from the widow of a distinguished graduate and will use the money to build a research center devoted to the study of the brain.

Excellent! Our brains are the pinnacle of intelligent life on Earth; so far anyway! The fact that we still know so little about their workings is the cause of untold misery and senselessness in the effort to overcome such.

Now I know that Neuroscience is not, by any means, focused on the brain alone. Our entire bodies, and those of every other member of the Kingdom Animalia are maintained and operated via some sort of central nervous system. Plants have vascular systems, as we do, but the ability for nerves to pass information to and from all points within an organism is a truly astounding development of evolution on this planet.

What's ironic, or at least interesting to me, about this news coming out today, is that I awoke this morning thinking 'bout nerves and viruses. I can't recall where, but I just read or watched a story which said there are researchers considering the idea that viruses may actually predate bacteriological life. On the surface, I don't think they supplied very much evidence of that but, as is quitely apparent, I am not a biologist. Just a silly human who understands and does my best to utilize the scientific method when exploring and confronting my universe and it's people and ideas.

The thing is, with my credentials being established as nearly null, I wonder if it were virii that helped bacteria make the leap on the
track de animalia. This is mainly based on what I perceive as morphological similarities between neurons and their axons and many of the various forms of viruses I've seen. Might not some fast-twitch (I know that's a muscular term, but stay with me here) virus have coopted the "entrails" of a bacterium and tweeked just so, in order to steer the thing somewhat deliberately towards a more benevolent environment?

Perhaps such has already been hypothesized and rejected. Perhaps I'm missing something basic that would make this idea laughable to anyone less ignorant on the topic. Perhaps it's an idea worth researching. Perhaps...

Or not. {sighhh}

Congratulations to the scientists and grad students at Columbia University at any rate. And kudos to the widow who made the endowment. The amount of research into such problems as spinal chord injuries, Alzheimers, Lue Gehrig's disease and other neurological disorders (such as depression perhaps,) which $200 million bucks can effect, may indeed be a turning point in our not even remotely silly battle against such diseases.


  1. This is good news. My sister lost her husband to Lou Gehrig's disease when he was 35 and my grandmother died of Alzheimer's after first forgetting who we all were and thinking a baby doll was her firstborn 60 something year old son (my father). Yes, kudos to the widow who made the endowment. I hope something good will come of it.


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