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Biotech Science

Scientists Begin Mapping the Brain 129

Raindance writes "A team at the University of Utah has unveiled a system to map and digitize brain tissue — thus fulfilling one of the long-standing holy grails of neuroscience and enabling for the first time in-depth analysis of how mammalian neural networks function. So far, maps for the entire retina and related neural networks have been released; no ETA on a full-brain digital reconstruction yet. (One of the lead authors hangs out here on Slashdot.)"
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Scientists Begin Mapping the Brain

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  • Re:Frozen brains (Score:3, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:43PM (#27495361) Journal
    I suspect that information is lost during the slicing; but that there are really no better alternatives, so you take the tradeoff, even if you don't like it.

    Optical microscopy, in combination with appropriately chosen staining techniques, offers good resolution and a large number of viewing choices(depending on what you stain for) at relatively low cost; but isn't all that useful for anything but thin slices or surfaces. Getting results equivalent to optical microscopy out of big solid lumps, by MRI or Xrays, or some other means, would likely be much trickier.
  • Re:Now... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ginger Unicorn ( 952287 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:01AM (#27501285)
    i think he meant an external interface, not an internal bus.

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.