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Brain Imaging Infrastructure for Defeating Neurodegenerative DiseasesThere is a European project called NeuGrid. The main intent of this undertaking is to improve the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzhiemer's. Neuroscientists are begining to collect a large amount of data from brain scans about specific diseases. Both Henry Markram and Ray Kurzweil have mentioned about certain trends in number crunching and how they can be applied to accelerating progress on these fronts. The information that we are gathering is far too great for any one person to learn even a very tiny fraction of. However new software and technology may be able to increase our understanding of these processes beyond what any single human intelligence could possibly comprehend.

Grid computing architectures should enable scientists to collaborate and share data faster than ever before. Computing resources can be spread across multiple research areas. Avenues that are being scaled up include;
  1. On demand computing
  2. Secure data sharing
  3. dynamic data analysis
Other projects related to brain research could also be accelerated;
In silico drug discovery

Grid-enabled virtual screening

Impact of mutations on existing drugs

Homology modeling
See this PDF file for more information. This page has the ultimate goals of NeuGrid.
neuGRID aims to become the "Google for Brain Imaging", providing a centrally-managed, easy-to-use set of tools with which scientists can perform analyses and collaborate.
A new video about the NeuGrid project is below;

Older videos on NeuGrid are here and here.

I think the most interesting question pertaining to this is whether we can use this explosive growth in the understanding of our own biochemistry to actually defeat the aging process itself. Doing this is obviously considerably more difficult than merely slowing the progression of currently disabling disease states. However, I think we are moving closer to this seemingly improbable end point.


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