On her show Sunday morning, MSNBC host Melissa-Harris Perry warned the United States was falling behind in brain research.

"It seems like we're getting sputniked all over again," she remarked. "NIH funding is flat lining for the first time since anyone can remember."

President Barack Obama recently proposed a BRAIN initiative, which would pump approximately $100 million into the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The initiative seeks to map the neural circuity of the human brain, potentially providing new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and depression.

But Perry noted the European Union had already invested $1.5 billion in its Human Brain Project, and China's Brainnetome initiative had been churning out research since 2004. The BRAIN initiative seemed paltry in comparison.

Due to the sequestration, the NIH budget will be cut by $1.6 billion over seven months. Scientists and medical experts have warned the cuts will be devastating to potentially life-saving biomedical research.

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