Scientists at Google and Janelia Research Campus have released the most detailed brain scan ever. With the applied method, a very small group of neuron can be mapped extensively.
Researchers at Google and Janelia Research Campus have published the largest, most detailed brain scan studies ever. The project includes detailed mapping for more than 25 thousand neurons in about a third of a fruit fly’s brain, containing more than 20 million synapses.
The scan is not the type of brain scan we’re used to. Scientists did not connect flies to small MRIs. They sliced the flies’ brains into 20-micron-thick layers and bombarded each layer with electrons. The data obtained was then used to produce a 3D image of trillions of 3D pixels.
The reason scientists choose fruit flies for screening is that their brain structure is incredibly complex compared to previous examples. They also have a small brain, which makes research manageable. Unlike other small animals, fruit flies have built-in navigation systems and exhibit high-level behavior characteristics such as courtship dances. So although they are smaller in size than many creatures, they are smarter.
Combining millions of 3D images is a very challenging task. Despite the help of artificial intelligence, Google researchers have spent hundreds of thousands of hours to watch synapses in virtual reality over two years. Actually, the point here is that the images don’t contain random neurons in the brains of the flies. These specific groupings are called “conectomes” according to the field of conectomy. In addition, maps contain hypothetically connection diagrams for brains and behavioral activity can be tracked with the theoretically correct map.
Scientists at Google and Janelia Research Campus have publicly published the entire project for institutions and individuals who cannot provide the resources needed to create the project in question. In addition, the team; carefully formatted the data, images, videos and other information to make it easily accessible to everyone and available to professional researchers. If you are curious about the project, you can check the details about the work done here.
Video of a detailed brain scan