Billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen has announced a $100 million commitment over 10 years to fund scientific endeavors at the “frontiers of bioscience" that he describes as having major implications for humankind.
An initial set of grants, announced Wednesday, will go to Stanford and Tufts universities for the creation of new research centers and to individual scientists with unconventional approaches to projects in tissue regeneration, antibiotic resistance, gene editing and the development of brain circuitry.
Allen said his commitment grew out of a realization that the biological sciences are at a critical point in history, with technology now able to take the field in a more quantitative direction than ever before. New tools can manipulate DNA, next-generation microscopes measure and create images of the tiniest parts of living systems, and super-powerful computers are able to make sense of massive amounts of data.
"What I believe is that this is potentially a game-changer for our understanding of complex biological systems," Allen said.
His goal is to help facilitate a more interdisciplinary approach by giving scientists with out-of-the-box ideas the equipment, staff and connections to counterparts in math, engineering, physical sciences and computer science -- so their work can reach its full potential, he explained.
The Microsoft co-founder, who is estimated to be worth $17.7 billion, has become one of the world’s most influential philanthropists in the sciences in recent years, and not just because of the huge sums he has given away. Allen approaches the issues from the perspective of a computer scientist and entrepreneur. To him, questions about intelligence and possibly even life itself are potentially "solvable" through data -- but only if scientists take big risks and aren't afraid of failure.
In explaining his newest philanthropic venture, for instance, Allen described biology as "unbelievably complex, almost fractally complex" and said he aims to "defeat" this complexity.
Полная версия: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/03/23/philanthropist-paul-allen-announces-100-million-gift-to-expand-frontiers-of-bioscience/?wpisrc=al_alert-hse