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Answering the Big Questions in Neuroscience: DoD's Experimental Research Wing Takes on Massive, High-Risk Projects

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When the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) asks research questions, it goes big. This is, after all, the same agency that put together teams of scientists and engineers to find a way to connect the worlds computers and, in doing so, developed the precursor to the Internet. DARPA, the experimental research wing of the U.S. Department of Defense, funds the types of research queries that scientists and engineers dream of tackling. Unlike a traditional granting agency that conservatively metes out its funding and only to projects with a good chance of success, DARPA puts its money on massive, multi-institutional projects that have no guarantees, but have enormous potential. In the 1990s, DARPA began its biological and medical science research to improve the safety, health, and well being of military personnel, according to DARPA program manager and Army Colonel Geoffrey Ling, Ph.D., M.D. More recently, DARPA has entered the realm of neuroscience and neurotechnology. Its focus with these projects is on its prime customer, the U.S. Department of Defense, but Ling acknowledged that technologies developed in its programs “certainly have potential to cascade into civilian uses.”

Published in:

Pulse, IEEE  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan. 2012

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