Google Publishes Largest Ever High-Resolution Map Of Brain Connectivity

25 Janvier, 2020, 03:25 | Auteur: Therese Cote

The video was published on the Janelia website, and showcases a 3D model of 25,000 fruit fly neurons on a range of different cellular structures in various parts of its brain.

Google has helped out Janelia Research Campus with its recently released breakthrough in being able to map the brain. This represents a significant milestone in brain mapping.

The team then stitched the image back together and created a brain map of the fruit fly. The team started out by cutting a fruit fly brain into extremely thin slices using a hot knife - and then imaging each slice under an electron microscope. This was minute and detailed work.

The final map has very few disruptions due to the perfection in this technique, and it is also possible to trace the neuron connections from one to another. Scientists from the Janelia Research Campus spent 2 years to verify each and every route of 20 million chemical synapses in the map using virtual reality headsets and custom 3D editing software.

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Anyone can see and download the data, and there are papers both available and on the way detailing the work.

The brain map itself won't accomplish a whole lot. However, it could prove to be a treasure trove of data for scientists looking to understand fruit flies in particular or brain functionality at large. While the neuron construction of a fly's brain may appear to be an unproportionally large feat for such a small insect, it is the largest high-resolution map to date and paves the way for mapping out the brains of larger animals and eventually humans. Only the brain of a fruit fly contains about 100 thousand neurons and the human brain is about 86 billion neurons.

So, acknowledging this is an important moment goes without saying, however, it is but a stepping stone towards further research of a complex organ.


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