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Google and Harvard introduce most detailed map of human brain ever

Google and Harvard appeared together, coming up with a highly detailed map of the human brain, which reflects profound advances in the field. Google’s connectomics team, a joint effort with a Harvard research group, employed state-of-the-art AI and imaging methods in order to achieve some unexpected findings about the brain.

Google and Harvard Team Unprecedented Detail:

Google mentioned in a blog post on X on May 11th that “by combining brain imaging with AI-based image processing and analysis, our teams have reconstructed nearly every cell and all of its connections within a small volume of human brain tissue, about half the size of a grain of rice. Though it’s of a small region of the brain, this 3D mapping nonetheless requires a monumental 1.4 petabytes (1.4 million gigabytes) to encode.”

Google and Harvard
Source: CNA

Harvard researchers initiated their project by gathering numerous ultra-thin cross-sectional images from a donated brain specimen. The post talked about “the small piece of healthy brain that had to be removed during surgery on a woman with epilepsy to allow surgeons to reach the part they needed to operate on. A small piece of that otherwise discarded tissue was preserved as part of an IRB-approved study for later analysis.”

Google researchers created sophisticated AI tools to build an interactive 3D representation of brain tissue and explained, “The model underscores how complex the human brain is: describing just this small sample”—one-millionth of the total human brain and about 3 mm long”—requires more than a million gigabytes of data: 1.4 Petabytes. This is the largest dataset ever made of human brain structure at this resolution.

Within the one cubic millimeter tissue sample, there were 50,000 cells and around a hundred million axons; these are the junctions formed by synapses where signals pass from one neuron to another. Google and Harvard highlighted a fascinating discovery from their research: the discovery of so-called “axon whorls.” The most critical part of a nerve cell is the axon, through which impulses are transmitted from one cell to the next.

Google and Harvard
Source: Medium

Researchers are hopeful that through deeper studies of connections in the brain, they will be able to solve mysteries such as how memories are formed and the underlying causes of neurological disorders such as autism and Alzheimer’s. “There is still a lot more to observe and understand from our reconstruction of this piece of human brain, and we hope other researchers will use the data to make additional discoveries,” they added.

You might also be interested in – Australian doctor cures own brain cancer with self-invent treatment: “I’m thrilled”

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