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EYE ON CHINA
China plans to launch “brain project” by year end
The China Brain Project would increase understanding of the reasons behind Alzheimer's, depression and other diseases, and also provide a huge boost to the development of artificial intelligence in China.

China plans to launch its own version of BRAIN, or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, by the end of this year, said Muming Poo, director of the Institute of Neuroscience at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The China Brain Project has been in planning for three years and is now included as a key Science & Technology project of the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020), Poo told China Business News.

In 2015, Chinese scientists proposed targeted research into the neural basis of cognitive function, with the additional goals of improving diagnosis and prevention of brain diseases, and driving artificial intelligence research through computing and system simulation.

Poo said China's investment in the project would be equivalent to the amount allocated for the U.S. BRAIN initiative announced by the Obama administration in 2013, and that China would also encourage private capital participation, although details were yet to be ironed out.

Scientists believe the China Brain Project would increase understanding of the reasons behind Alzheimer's, depression and other diseases, and also provide a huge boost to the development of artificial intelligence in China.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences kicked off its Mapping Brain Functional Connections (MBFC) project in 2012 to focus on the analysis and simulation of the connectome pathway and network structure of specific brain functions.

Yang Xiongli, an academic at Fudan University, said brain research and application could promote the development of many fields.

Currently, China lags behind in brain research projects. Wang Zuoren, deputy Party chief at the Institute of Neuroscience, says the U.S. invests USD5 billion a year in neurosciences, excluding private capital, but China only invests 200 million yuan.

In a paper published last month, Poo said China aimed to take a leading role in brain research in 15 years.

Source: CAS

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APBN Editorial Calendar 2018
January:
Obesity / Outlook for 2018
February:
Searching for the fountain of youth
March:
Women in Science - Making a difference
April:
Digestive health in the 21st century - Trust your guts
May:
Dental health - The root to good health
June:
Cancer - Therapies and strategies for better patient outcomes
July:
Water management- Technologies for biotech and pharmaceutical industries
August:
Regenerative medicine / Biotech start ups
September:
Digital healthcare / 3D printing
October:
Bones / Breast cancer
November:
Liver health / Top science research nations & institutions
December:
AIDS / Breakthrough of the year/Emerging trends
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
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