Bright and beautiful map of the brain of a tiny fruitflies gives you the opportunity to see 20 million synapses that bind 25 million neurons. On a 3D map you can see only a quarter of the brain of a fruit fly. This model is an important work in the field of connectomics - a field of neuroscience that studies the structural connections of the brain. Specialists from Google and Janelia's Virginia research campus can now compile large and detailed brain maps of any animals. It should be noted that today the brain of the roundworm C. elegans is completely mapped. Detailed information on the results of the work is published on the Janelia website.
What is connectivity?
Connectivity is designed to understandhow the structure of the brain is associated with neurology, has an ambiguous reputation in the world of science. Connecticom critics believe that over two decades of research, not a single major discovery has appeared. But supporters are convinced that it allows you to connect a certain behavior of organisms with the physical parts of the brain. However, despite mixed opinions, a map will help scientists better understand the nervous system of fruit flies.
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According to Popular Science, Google’s 3D model mayBecome a small but significant step towards understanding the connections in our own minds. Nevertheless, the appearance of such 3D maps of the human brain, according to researchers, is unlikely to appear in the near future. The fact is that today, an attempt to create such a map will require an unimaginable amount of data to process. In addition, studies of the human brain depend on differences between people.
However, a fruit fly brain modelis a feat. The Janelia team has been working on improving the prototype for more than a decade before joining the Google Connectomics team in 2014. Researchers have developed new technological methods to color the brain of a fly and cut it into pieces 20 microns thick, which is one third of the width of a human hair. Then they scanned it using electron microscopes. The work took two years, during which the researchers checked the route of each synapse of 20 million. It should also be noted that fruit flies are known for exhibiting complex behaviors, including mating dances.
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With the release of 3D maps of the brain Google and Janeliaposted information about their work and encoding in the public domain. These open source materials reflect a wider trend in science, which will positively impact further research. The creators of this amazing map also hope that in the future, scientists will be able to create similar maps of a wide variety of animals. And, someday, a detailed map of the most complex organ in the human body.