Restoring Movement and Touch with Brain Interfaces
(University of Pittsburgh)
The Rehab Neural Engineering Labs at the University of Pittsburgh, with funding from DARPA, have demonstrated that people with spinal cord injury can control a lifelike robotic arm using neural signals from electrodes implanted in a part of the brain that controls movement. The laboratory can also generate sensations that feel like pressure on the hand or fingers by electrically stimulating a part of the brain that is responsible for feeling touch. The goal of this research is to restore arm and hand function to people after injury.
Using Games to Map the Brain
(Princeton University, Eyewire, Allen Institute for Brain Science, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity)
Through Eyewire, a quarter million gamers are helping discover uncharted 3D neural circuits. New visualizations at the Frontiers Conference will allow users to explore a Neuron Safari in immersive virtual reality and interact with a web-based research lab: the Eyewire Museum. In addition, the creators of Eyewire will reveal the first glimpse of Neo, a new game coming in 2017 that will invite gamers to solve puzzles of perception. EyeWire's latest project connects citizen science with data collected by the Allen Institute for Brain Science and Baylor College of Medicine as part of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency's Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks program. At the Frontiers Conference, the creators of Eyewire will also reveal the first glimpse of Neo, a new game coming in 2017 that will invite gamers to solve puzzles of perception. Researchers at Princeton University have also received funding for EyeWire from the National Institutes of Health as part of the BRAIN Initiative.
Mapping the Brain Through Citizen Neuroscientists
(University of Washington, Allen Institute for Brain Science, and the National Science Foundation)
Mozak is a new science-discovery community that aims to significantly speed up neuroscience discoveries, by bringing together teams of people from all walks of life to develop a new generation of citizen neuroscientists. The first phase of Mozak—funded by the National Science Foundation and announced at Frontiers—will allow citizen scientists to reconstruct 3D neuron structures in order to reveal each cell’s unique identity by cataloguing its distinct structural signatures. Mozak’s initial goal is to reconstruct several neurons per day—providing data that scientists urgently need to distinguish how one neuron differs from another. Future phases of Mozak will engage the community around building a "periodic table" of neurons and generating predictive models of how neurons work together.
Diagnosing Mental Illness with Multimodal Behavior Perception
(Carnegie Mellon University)
MultiSense is a behavior-sensing technology designed to help clinicians and healthcare providers diagnose and treat mental-health illnesses such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia. MultiSense automatically recognizes subtle changes in the patient's facial expressions, eye gaze patterns, vocal prosody, and other nonverbal cues to identify behavior indicators related to mental illness. These measures allow the clinician to track the progress of a patient during treatment and can be used as a decision-support tool during early screening or diagnosis.
Developing Continuous Patient Monitoring for Cardiovascular Health
(Stanford University and the Food and Drug Administration)
Stanford University has developed a powerful toolkit to precisely quantify individual cardiovascular health and assess the risk of future health concerns. The MyHeart Counts phone app provides large-scale, real-world assessment of physical activity, fitness, sleep, and medical history, helping to elucidate environmental and genetic mechanisms that influence health. FDA has developed the precisionFDA platform to provide a free, open source, cloud-based space where participants share DNA sequence data, ideas and DNA mapping techniques to improve our ability to create high quality DNA sequencing diagnostic tests. Efforts like these will improve disease management and clinical outcomes.
Enhancing Science and Discovery with Ultra-Low-Cost Paper Microscopes
Stanford University has developed low-cost, paper microscopes with 2000X magnification and accompanying add-ons that allow easy connection to mobile phones and other devices. In the past year, more than 55,000 paper microscopes have been distributed in more than 130 countries, for use in public heath, science education, and globalization of science. Current plans include the production and distribution of one million additional microscopes within the next two years. At the Frontiers Conference, scientists will demo the device and help attendees assemble their own microscope to use in observations and explorations.
Engaging Citizens with the Precision Medicine Initiative
(National Institutes of Health)
Institutes of Health has brought together a consortia of creative and cutting-edge organizations—including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Verily, the Scripps Translational Science Institute, the Broad Institute, Vibrent Health, Sage Bionetworks, and Wondros—to create prototype technologies and engagement strategies for the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program. At the Frontiers Conference, the team will demonstrate creative content and preliminary user-experience design, including a two-minute video on precision medicine. Visitors will have an early opportunity to learn about the PMI Cohort Program and provide feedback through flash interviews. This valuable input is in support of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative.