Scientific Breakthroughs from Mice to Men

September 30, 2006

In 2003, the same year that the Human Genome Project (HGP) was finished, Allen pitched in $41 million and launched the Allen Brain Atlas, an ambitious — and altruistic — indexing of the entire genome of the mouse brain that would be available, free of charge, to researchers on the Web. Why mice? It's impossible to get the live samples of human brain neurons needed to map the human brain genome in the same way, but people and mice share 90% of brain genes, making the mouse a pretty good stand-in.