Ramping Up Brain Studies

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Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Marconius on Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:50 pm

Pres Obama is pushing for a decade long study on the human brain and its workings. I got not one problem with this. Compared to other parts of the human body, we know almost nothing about the brain.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/science/project-seeks-to-build-map-of-human-brain.html?hp&_r=1&

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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Miles1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:50 am

They should do this research on senators and congressmen. Their brains have never been used so they are in pristine condition for research.

Am sure the conspiracy theory nutters will be all over this - "Obama is doing research on the human brain so he can CONTROL OUR MINDS! Muahahaha! Where's my tinfoil hat? Birth Cert! Nigeria! UN! From my cold dead hands! Agh!"

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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Sir Pun on Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:59 am

But why is this something that meeds government funding? Dont hospitals make plenty of money?

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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Marconius on Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:31 am

Miles1 wrote:They should do this research on senators and congressmen. Their brains have never been used so they are in pristine condition for research.

Am sure the conspiracy theory nutters will be all over this - "Obama is doing research on the human brain so he can CONTROL OUR MINDS! Muahahaha! Where's my tinfoil hat? Birth Cert! Nigeria! UN! From my cold dead hands! Agh!"

I was on another forum yesterday and yeah, you are right. Many on that forum do think that very thing. Mostly neo-cons who don't trust Pres Obama. It is funny. They had no care when GWB was consolidating federal power. I guess they just couldn't fathom the GOP losing power in DC and the Dems using what they created. I see the Dems doing the very same thing when they lose power.

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"If guns are supposed to kill people, then all of mine are defective..."
-The Honorable Ted Nugent

"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Marconius on Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:33 am

Pun wrote:But why is this something that meeds government funding? Dont hospitals make plenty of money?

I actually have no problem with the Federal Government sponsoring scientific studies like this. Sure, I hate the junk science, but look at how much more we understand DNA after the Genome Project. Some things, like this and space exploration, are better with consolidation of funding.


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"If guns are supposed to kill people, then all of mine are defective..."
-The Honorable Ted Nugent

"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Bryant on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:32 pm

Pun wrote:But why is this something that meeds government funding? Dont hospitals make plenty of money?

Most hospitals are not research facilities, nor are they necessarily equipped with research staff. Mind you a MD is simply a technical degree. MDs are to scientists (ie PhD) what automotive techs are to engineers.
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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Marconius on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:54 pm

Bryant wrote:
Pun wrote:But why is this something that meeds government funding? Dont hospitals make plenty of money?

Most hospitals are not research facilities, nor are they necessarily equipped with research staff. Mind you a MD is simply a technical degree. MDs are to scientists (ie PhD) what automotive techs are to engineers.

Forgot to mention that most research is done by Universities utilizing grant money from eithr private or governmental sources.

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"If guns are supposed to kill people, then all of mine are defective..."
-The Honorable Ted Nugent

"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Miles1 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:40 am

Pun wrote:But why is this something that meeds government funding? Dont hospitals make plenty of money?

Heh, two things here: Call me old-fashioned, but hospitals shouldn't be set up to make money/profits, they should be set up to treat patients. If they make a profit along the way, fine, but it shouldn't be the primary focus as it appears in a lot of places. If a hospital has shareholders, one of the primary requirements to be a shareholder should be that you have to be treated in that particular hospital.

And on the "why does it need govt funding" bit, because there's no immediate/short-term profit to be made from it, lots of short/medium-term costs, and no private company/entity on the planet these days is going to touch that with a barge pole. For most companies, the long term has disappeared thanks to the ADD of the stock market, if it can't appear as a profit on the next quarter's earnings results (or at least be revenue neutral), they're not interested. Shareholders don't care about the long term, they want their return on investment now, dammit, and anything that gets in the way of that cannot be tolerated even if it has the potential to reap huge rewards a few years down the line. So, the only organization that will support it is the government who are more capable of looking at the long term (OK, I can hear the laughter from here, I said more capable then private companies, I didn't say totally capable. Is a relative term)

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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Bryant on Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:22 am

Miles1 wrote:
Pun wrote:But why is this something that meeds government funding? Dont hospitals make plenty of money?

Heh, two things here: Call me old-fashioned, but hospitals shouldn't be set up to make money/profits, they should be set up to treat patients. If they make a profit along the way, fine, but it shouldn't be the primary focus as it appears in a lot of places. If a hospital has shareholders, one of the primary requirements to be a shareholder should be that you have to be treated in that particular hospital.

And on the "why does it need govt funding" bit, because there's no immediate/short-term profit to be made from it, lots of short/medium-term costs, and no private company/entity on the planet these days is going to touch that with a barge pole. For most companies, the long term has disappeared thanks to the ADD of the stock market, if it can't appear as a profit on the next quarter's earnings results (or at least be revenue neutral), they're not interested. Shareholders don't care about the long term, they want their return on investment now, dammit, and anything that gets in the way of that cannot be tolerated even if it has the potential to reap huge rewards a few years down the line. So, the only organization that will support it is the government who are more capable of looking at the long term (OK, I can hear the laughter from here, I said more capable then private companies, I didn't say totally capable. Is a relative term)

The way most federal grant money is distributed is via the National Science Foundation, which uses panels of professionals (volunteers, I think) in relevant fields to review submitted grant proposals. That is to say, if I put in for a NSF grant to fund research on chemical evolution of the Ryukyu volcanic arc (would love to do this, will likely never find funding), the proposal would be submitted to a panel of geologists to determine the scientific merit of my proposal. Brutal process with lots and lots of competition. Its hard to pull in funding, but lots of high quality basic research is possible due to these federal grants. Also of note, universities usually siphon off a bit of the grant money awarded to their faculty to help pay for equipment accrual/maintenance, undergraduate research expenses, the researcher's time, and other overhead.

To the best of my knowledge, the petroleum industry is one of the few fields that actually tends to support broad reaching research. Several companies fund/employ engineers, geologists, physicists, chemists, etc, to conduct research into earth processes and really any other field that could translate into either improving production of existing fields or locating new fields. Much of the proprietary info the oil companies have is years if not decades ahead of what most of us in academia or industry have access to.
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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Marconius on Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:55 pm

Bryant wrote:

To the best of my knowledge, the petroleum industry is one of the few fields that actually tends to support broad reaching research. Several companies fund/employ engineers, geologists, physicists, chemists, etc, to conduct research into earth processes and really any other field that could translate into either improving production of existing fields or locating new fields. Much of the proprietary info the oil companies have is years if not decades ahead of what most of us in academia or industry have access to.

Now see, this is what I do not like about private companies. Sure they are paying for the research, but much of that should be public information and not withheld. If it deals with perspective reservoir production, than yeah, let it stay private so that they hold onto their investment. If it is only processes, let it go.

Of course Bryant, you are the expert. Is any of this stuff fiscally sensitive??? Am I jumping the gun a bit???

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-The Honorable Ted Nugent

"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Bryant on Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:13 pm

Marconius wrote:
Bryant wrote:

To the best of my knowledge, the petroleum industry is one of the few fields that actually tends to support broad reaching research. Several companies fund/employ engineers, geologists, physicists, chemists, etc, to conduct research into earth processes and really any other field that could translate into either improving production of existing fields or locating new fields. Much of the proprietary info the oil companies have is years if not decades ahead of what most of us in academia or industry have access to.

Now see, this is what I do not like about private companies. Sure they are paying for the research, but much of that should be public information and not withheld. If it deals with perspective reservoir production, than yeah, let it stay private so that they hold onto their investment. If it is only processes, let it go.

Of course Bryant, you are the expert. Is any of this stuff fiscally sensitive??? Am I jumping the gun a bit???

Full disclosure: Mind you that I do not work for a petrol company, nor have I ever worked in petroleum geology. I have friends who work in that field, and through my membership in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG; Chevron pays for student membership so I joined) I have had some opportunities to network with some petrol geologists. As such, what I hear is second hand at best.

From what I gather most of the major companies spend lots of money developing state-of-the-art process modeling software and are constantly improving geophysical methods (the goal being lower the cost and increase accuracy). These kinds of investments may not be reservoir specific, but they still can allow a company a competitive edge on the competition. That said, even the reservoir specific data (stratigraphy, structure, and geochronology) would be invaluable to geologists in both academia and geotechnical consulting firms.
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Re: Ramping Up Brain Studies

Post by Marconius on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:49 pm

Bryant wrote:
Marconius wrote:
Bryant wrote:

To the best of my knowledge, the petroleum industry is one of the few fields that actually tends to support broad reaching research. Several companies fund/employ engineers, geologists, physicists, chemists, etc, to conduct research into earth processes and really any other field that could translate into either improving production of existing fields or locating new fields. Much of the proprietary info the oil companies have is years if not decades ahead of what most of us in academia or industry have access to.

Now see, this is what I do not like about private companies. Sure they are paying for the research, but much of that should be public information and not withheld. If it deals with perspective reservoir production, than yeah, let it stay private so that they hold onto their investment. If it is only processes, let it go.

Of course Bryant, you are the expert. Is any of this stuff fiscally sensitive??? Am I jumping the gun a bit???

Full disclosure: Mind you that I do not work for a petrol company, nor have I ever worked in petroleum geology. I have friends who work in that field, and through my membership in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG; Chevron pays for student membership so I joined) I have had some opportunities to network with some petrol geologists. As such, what I hear is second hand at best.

From what I gather most of the major companies spend lots of money developing state-of-the-art process modeling software and are constantly improving geophysical methods (the goal being lower the cost and increase accuracy). These kinds of investments may not be reservoir specific, but they still can allow a company a competitive edge on the competition. That said, even the reservoir specific data (stratigraphy, structure, and geochronology) would be invaluable to geologists in both academia and geotechnical consulting firms.

I wonder why, after drilling is over and once production begins, they couldn't pass this data on to academia??? Really what good is the data to them once the product is theirs??? Once the reservoir is produced past its life, is the data still usable for you guys???

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"If guns are supposed to kill people, then all of mine are defective..."
-The Honorable Ted Nugent

"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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