Science

Mark Zuckerberg Gives $50 Million To Scientists

By Donna Bellevue , Feb 09, 2017 01:51 AM EST
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Mark Zuckerberg, with his wife Priscilla Chan, have pledged $50 million to fund the work of 47 scientists. The Chan Zuckerberg (CZ) Biohub, a medical research nonprofit founded by the power couple, hopes to "cure, prevent, or manage all diseases." The research organization is partially funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, with the primary goal to bring together scientists in order to create groundbreaking new treatments and technology find a cure for diseases, from viral infections to Alzheimer's and beyond.

Hundreds of researchers applied for grants to work on new researches for the biomedical hub. After a selection process, 47 are chosen to receive cash grants, which amount up to $1.5 million. The grants can be used over the course of the next five years.

Currently, the CZ Biohub is exploring two major initiatives: the Infectious Disease Initiative and the Cell Atlas. The Infectious Disease Initiative aims to combat pandemics like the Zika and Ebola outbreaks, while the Cell Atlas will attempt to create a comprehensive biological map of human cells in major organs to better understand diseases, the Fortune reports.

Another project headed by Mark Zuckerberg's research group involves the “monitoring and manipulation of neural circuits.” Another one hopes to develop 3D imaging technology which can probe the “deep structures of the brain” and unraveling neural activity. Similar technology could one day be used to directly record human thoughts and allow artificial intelligence to read our minds, the New York Post reports.

Some of the projects are ringing alarm bells among paranoid people who think that technological progress will negatively affect human freedom. Despite raising some eyebrows from skeptics about the organization's ambitious goals, Chan and Zuckerberg are unfazed and appear determined to continue giving out their considerable resources in support of their charity and its various groups. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, through their organization, donated $3 million on Tuesday in order to fight the affordable housing crisis in San Francisco.

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