Cubic millimetre of brain mapped in spectacular detail


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“Researchers have mapped a tiny piece of the human brain in astonishing detail. The resulting cell atlas, which was described today in Science1 and is available online, reveals new patterns of connections between […] neurons, as well as cells that wrap around themselves to form knots, and pairs of neurons that are almost mirror images of each other.

The 3D map covers a volume of about one cubic millimetre, one-millionth of a whole brain, and contains roughly 57,000 cells and 150 million synapses — the connections between neurons. It incorporates a colossal 1.4 petabytes of data. “It’s a little bit humbling,” says Viren Jain, a neuroscientist at Google in Mountain View, California, and a co-author of the paper. “How are we ever going to really come to terms with all this complexity?” [from this article].