Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brain Atlas = Done!

Chuck posted on this blog back in February about the Brain Atlas that the Paul Allen Institute for Brain Science was working on. Recently, WIRED magazine wrote a nice post announcing the COMPLETION of the Brain Atlas!

The reporter's description of dissection might make for good, entertaining, out-loud reading in class: "He takes a thin, sterilized knife and slices into the tissue with disconcerting ease. I’m reminded of Jell-O and guillotines and the meat counter at the supermarket. He saws repeatedly until the brain is reduced to a series of thin slabs, which are then photographed and rushed to a freezer. All that remains is a pool of blood, like the scene of a crime."

The picture in the upper right of this post represents a "3-D snapshot of all the locations in the brain where the Prozac’s biochemical target is expressed."

Its not clear to me whether this atlas is useable by high school students (might be WAY too technical?) but its still a great example of researchers trying to get a comprehensive database/picture of the brain, and students might be interested in the effort.

posted by Rob McEntarffer

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