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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream

Linda Buck

Nobel Prize in Medicine

We don't really know how the brain works, by and large. I mean it's still a black box. I think the 1990s were the decade of the brain, but it still is not understood what a perception is, exactly. What happens in the brain when you perceive something? You see a friend walking down the street toward you, and maybe they say something to you. There's activity and neurons in many parts of the brain. How do those come together to form a percept -- a perception? It's not known. We don't even know what the neural circuits are that underlie appetite. We don't know what happens when we feel an emotion like love, or we look at a beautiful piece of art. The brain is still a mystery to us, and it's the most challenging area, to me, of biological science today. And I'd like to encourage the wonderful students that are here at this Academy of Achievement to consider a career in neuroscience, to try to figure out how the brain actually works. It's a fascinating, challenging, very satisfying and rewarding thing to do, I think.
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Linda Buck

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Linda Buck: I think that there are a multitude of questions to address, in terms of biological science. As I just said, the brain is still almost a complete mystery. We don't know about the neural circuits that control even innate drives such as hunger, sleep. We don't know how those things work. We know that they're controlled by circuits of neurons. That is, they're interconnected neural networks, but we don't know what they are. We don't know what the genes are. There are now very large-scale efforts to map genes that are expressed in the brain. And once you can map the genes, that is, determine the neurons that they're expressed in, you can couple that with genetic alterations in animals to study what happens when you turn a gene on or turn it off, and in that way you can learn more about the roles of individual neurons in the neural circuit. Now, in the case of smell, we're very interested in how it is that smells can elicit specific kinds of behaviors. Predator odors can elicit an instinctive fear response. We think that we can use odors or pheromones that also elicit specific innate responses to gain access to those neural circuits that have not been identified yet. And once we can get our hands on one identifiable set of neurons in the brain that's involved in that circuit, then we can move outward from that, and start identifying the other neurons, and then establish what individual neurons in the circuit do. So we've just begun to do that recently, actually.
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Carol Burnett

Television Hall of Fame

I wanted to go to college, and I had good grades in high school, and I had enough good grades to get me into UCLA. And Nanny said, "We can't afford it." Our rent was $30 a month. She had a fit when they raised it to a dollar a day! And the tuition at that time, back in the covered wagon days, was $43. We didn't have the money. She said, "Well now, you should go to Woodbury College," a secretarial school, "so you can become a secretary and then someday nab the boss." She always said you're only as good as the guy you marry. That's why she did six times. Anyway, I said, "No, I really know I'm going to go to UCLA." I knew it, I saw myself on campus. It wasn't that I was hoping for it or wishing or praying, I said, "No, it's going to happen, I just don't know how." Well, this one morning it was my chore when I got up in the morning to look out into the lobby, our room faced the lobby, and there were these pigeonhole mailboxes. And I could tell if we had a letter in one of those and I would run out in my robe. And this one morning there was a letter in our slot. I got it, it had my name typewritten on it and address, and it even had a stamp, but it hadn't been mailed, it hadn't been cancelled. Somebody had just stamped it and put it in the mailbox. I opened it up, and out came a $50 bill. I swear to this day I don't know who gave it to me. Nobody we knew had that kind of money. My grandmother didn't, or she would have said, "Look what I am doing for you." Nobody in our building, everybody was on relief. That was my tuition, so I got to go to UCLA.
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George H.W. Bush

41st President of the United States

George H.W. Bush: Vision is an interesting word. I'm the President that the national press corps felt had no vision, and yet I worked for a more peaceful world. And we did something to say to a totalitarian dictator in Iraq, you're not going to take over your neighboring country. There's a vision there, which was peace. So, I'm a little defensive in the use of the word. Because I think the pundits had it down that I had no vision, but I did. You need a vision, you need a central core. You need to say, "Here's what I'm going to try to do to make life better for others."
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