When I was first getting to know a new friend of mine, I asked him, "So what is your occupation?" He said, "I slice mouse brains." Then he proceeded to tell me that he worked as a scientist for the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. I understand very little about the details of the projects of which the Allen Institute is engaged, but I'm glad there are brilliant people whose vocation serves to advance our understanding of how the brain works.
Below is a video from July 2008 which announced the completion of one of their projects, the atlas of the mouse spinal cord. It gives you a glimpse into what the Allen Institute does and the potential benefits of their research.