Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grey matter turns blue!

Boing Boing recently brought us news of the Blue Brain Project, which is, according to its website:
Reconstructing the brain piece by piece and building a virtual brain in a supercomputer—these are some of the goals of the Blue Brain Project. The virtual brain will be an exceptional tool giving neuroscientists a new understanding of the brain and a better understanding of neurological diseases.
The team has already successfully simulated a rat cortical column (evidently, there are about 100,000 such columns in the average rat brain). The human brain has more like two million (even more complex) columns.

Constructing a model of the human brain will require a fair amount of computing power:
Each simulated neuron requires the equivalent of a laptop computer. A model of the whole brain would have billions.

The technology of medicine marches forward!

For photos of the team and project, see Blue Brain Project: Build a virtual brain in a supercomputer.

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