Budget 2001 Integrative Biology and Neuroscience
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NSF Fiscal Year 2002
Budget Requests Excerpts

Integrative Biology and Neuroscience


   The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Integrative Biology and Neuroscience (IBN) Subactivity is $112.64 million, an increase of $980,000, or 0.9 percent, over the FY 2001 Current Plan of $111.66 million.

(Millions of Dollars)
  FY 2000
FY 2001
FY 2002
Integrative Biology & Neuroscience Research Projects 95.14 111.66 112.64 0.98 0.9%
TOTAL, IBN $95.14 $111.16 $112.64 $0.98 0.9%

Research supported by the Integrative Biology and Neuroscience Subactivity (IBN) seeks to understand the living organism - plant, animal, and microbe - as a unit of biological organization. IBN provides support for studies of the mechanisms by which organisms develop, grow, reproduce, regulate their physiological activity, and respond to their environment. The integration of molecular, subcellular, cellular, and functional genomics approaches is essential to a full understanding of the development, function, neurobiology, and behavior of organisms. IBN supports the development and use of a wide diversity of organisms to assist both in identifying unifying principles common to all living beings and in documenting the variety of mechanisms that have evolved in specific organisms. Genome-enabled science and systems biology will complement other strategic approaches to investigate how organisms carry out basic biological processes.

Example: The evolution of color patterns in animals is poorly understood because it is difficult to conduct evolutionary experiments in the laboratory. IBN funds a project that uses live Blue Jays trained to search computer displays for the presence of digital "moths". The moths exist in an artificial population maintained in computer memory, a "virtual ecology," with a genetic system derived from the genetics of real moths. The virtual moths breed and evolve through successive generations based on whether the live Jays detect them when they are displayed on screen. Changes in color patterns over time mimic many of the evolved features of color patterns in real insects. In addition to advancing understanding of the complex dynamics involved in predator-prey interactions over evolutionary time, these studies will also test the validity of virtual ecology for studying evolutionary dynamics, potentially adding a powerful new technique to the scientific study of organic evolution.

The FY 2002 Budget Request includes additional funding for the following areas:

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