Obama: Brain Initiative Will Be 'Transformative'

The president proposes $100 million research investment to map the human brain.
4:30 | 04/02/13

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Transcript for Obama: Brain Initiative Will Be 'Transformative'
Computers use. GPS technology. The Internet. All these things grew out of government investments in basic research and sometimes -- some of the best. Products and services spin off. Completely from unintended. Research. That nobody expected to have certain applications. Business venues that technology to -- countless new jobs. So the founders of Google. Got there early support from the National Science Foundation. The Apollo project that put a man on the moon also gave us eventually -- And every dollar we spend to map the human genome. Has returned a 140 dollars work out. One dollar investment on -- four dollars and return. To call himself believe that genome effort. And that's why -- we thought it was appropriate to have -- here to announce the next great American project and that's what we're calling. The brain initiative. As humans we can identify act. -- is light years away we can study particles smaller than Adam but. We still haven't unlock the mystery of the three pounds of -- or that sits between barriers. Today scientists -- there. Capability to study individual neurons. And figure out the main functions of certain areas of the brain. But -- human brain contains almost a hundred billion neurons. Making trillions of connections. Doctor -- -- like listening to the string section and trying to figure out what the whole orchestra sounds -- So as a result we're still unable to cure diseases like alzheimer's brought to us. We're fully reverse the effects of a stroke. And the most powerful computer in the world isn't nearly as. Intuitive as the one we're -- There there's this enormous mystery. Waiting to be a lot. In the brain initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture. Of the brain in action. And better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember. And that knowledge could be will be transformer. In the budget I will send to congress next week. -- propose a significant investment by the national institutes of help. Dark room and the National Science Foundation. To help get this project off the ground. I'm director my bioethics commission to make sure all of the research is being done a responsible way. And that. Were also partnering with a private sector. Including leading companies and foundations and research institutions. To tap the nation's brightest minds to help us reach our goal. And of course none of this will be using. If it was regarded know everything there was about. The brain works and presumably my life would be simpler here. Could explain all kinds of things are going -- Washington. We could prescribe something. So won't -- -- but think about what we could do. Once we do cracked the scope. Imagine if no fair way -- had to feel helpless watching a loved one disappear behind the mask of parkinson's. For struggle in the grip of epilepsy. Imagine if we could reverse traumatic brain injury or -- -- for our veterans were coming home. I don't want our children or grandchildren look back on this day and wish we have done more to keep America the cutting edge -- want them look back and be proud that we took some risks that we seize this opportune. That's what the American stories about that's who we are that's what this brain initiatives so important and if we keep taking bold steps like the one we're talking about to learn about the brain. I'm confident America will continue to lead. The world. In the next frontiers of human understanding and all of you are gonna help us get there.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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