Google and Harvard produce the highest resolution map of the human brain

Google e Harvard produzem mapa em mais alta resolução do cérebro humano


Scientists from Google and Harvard University, in the United States, published on Tuesday (8) the most detailed map of the connections of the human brain. The technology covers 1 cubic millimeter of the Central Nervous System, including various layers and types of cells in the cerebral cortex, an area responsible for functions such as thinking, planning and language.

Called “H01”, the map was developed from real samples of this region of the brain, which were cut into 5,300 sections, each 30 nanometers thick (1 nanometer is equivalent to a billionth of a meter). The samples were obtained from neurological surgeries for the treatment of epilepsy, performed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Normally, pieces of cortex are removed during such procedures to gain access to a place deeper in the brain where an epileptic seizure can begin.

Then, the tissues were photographed in a scanning electron microscope with a resolution of 4 nanometers, resulting in 225 million images. The entire collection was represented in 3D and an algorithm served to classify the data, which includes tens of thousands of reconstructed neurons, millions of fragments of these neurons, 130 million synapses, several cells and other structures.

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