A part of a rat brain was created digitally by 82 researchers all around the world. They announced on Thursday that they managed to digitally reconstruct a part of a rat brain.
The research has been sponsored by the Human Brain Project with almost $1 billion and lasted for about 10 years.
The news comes from the Blue Brain Project, which intends to construct the rat brain and even the human brain by using a computer.
These two research programs have been highly debated, as many neuroscientists wrote an open letter in 2014 where they criticized the usefulness of such reconstruction.
Henry Markram, the man who oversees both projects, claimed that the reconstruction gave him and his colleagues the possibility to see a working map of 30,000 brain cells. He also stated that this does not necessarily give them the possibility of creating a human brain, but it represents a good start.
Cori Bargmann, director of Kavli Neural Systems Institute, claimed that data accumulated in this research is amazing, but the brain’s stimulations are at their beginning, so the research should continue.
The reconstruction Markram wants to do would give him some digital properties of neurons and the relation between them which are a run-of-the-mill for all brains.
When digitally building the portion of the brain, researchers used only the data from some cells in order to see how the whole would work. After that, they imitated the brain activity and observed that the reconstruction resembled pretty much the living organism. All the data used in this reconstruction will be at hand for other scientists.
The report is one of the longest in the neuroscience field and was published in Cell journal. Because of its size, many scientists couldn’t read the entire study and refused to comment upon it yet.
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