Grand open source digital library brain: the most brain research

cloud network hunting note: brain neural science has long been the most popular subject, before we are curious about the structure of the brain, now we are curious about the working principle of the brain. But as we ordinary people, unable to gain access to the hidden brain specimens in the laboratory, and how to satisfy their own curiosity? Therefore, neuroanatomy experts Jacopo Annese presents a virtualization Brain – Digital Brain Library.

when I entered the Brain Observatory, I see with my warehouse on the Brain’s vision of a completely different scene. Warehouse in brain, of course, there will be a chic interior space and a loading of the brain’s refrigerator plastic cladding. But the brain warehouse is full of artistic breath, fashion sofa and so on, give a person the first feeling more like a nightclub than we usually see the appearance of the sterile laboratory.

indeed, warehouse here and not in the traditional sense of the brain. And in the traditional sense of the warehouse in the brain is full of specimens and huge freezers scene is not the same, the cerebrum warehouse will be virtualized storage in cyberspace, it is all neuroanatomy experts Jacopo Dr Annese’s idea. He call all this Digital Brain Library (Digital Brain Library), it also marks our in store and analyze the messages from the Brain has had a major shift.

300 years ago, anatomists had begun to collect and save the human tissue. This behavior originated in the us wants to know what our bodies operating mechanism, and now there is a kind of lower power – selling organs on the black market.

due to the jelly in the brain, scientists have been hard to deal with the brain specimens. But after a lot of trial and error, the scientists finally found a good way to keep the brain, so that the inspections, anatomy and research.

nowadays, most of the brain’s warehouse is the role of the storage and distribution. Once the brain has been saved as a specimen, the parts will be assigned to the corresponding researchers, the researchers usually of a region or a disease specific investigation. While the remainder would have been placed in the refrigerator frozen until there are in demand. This is a practical system, but not the connectivity of the whole into consideration, namely the brain how each region as a whole collaborative division of labor, this problem so far are not well solved.

connectivity is the temple of neuroanatomy research, it is also the establishment of the digital library brain guiding principles. Unlike the traditional method of block, Brain Observatory aims to let all the people who is interested in the Brain can understand the whole Brain.

all in all, this plan can be called Google earth project in the field of neuroscience.

what the brain is the library?

Annese and we see scientists usually are not quite same, he wore a purple shirt and clean the dark grey suit, dress up like this make people feel like in a nightclub or at home carefree, no depressing feeling. Due to a little late, Annese exceed big step coming fast, just contact in this time, I’m impressed with his talkative and Italian accent.

Annese laboratory located at the university of California, San Diego campus in a very humble low buildings, but now he is working on the Brain Observatory moved to the Brain and the institute for social research (note: cloud network editor king hunting Annese) was established in 2013, the non-profit organizations.

after the introduction, we began to sit down on the computer for digital library brain. Don’t need a lot of time, a layman like me are attracted by its advantages.

over the decades, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (fmri) to help us to observe our own body, and now, the technology is still we observed the best way to understand the brain. But after some kind of pain, we gradually realize the digitization, for example, we discussed Brain Observatory. It provides brain imaging has brought the unprecedented visual effect, you can even observed in the nucleus and axons.

Annese pointing to the point of the nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (fmri) said: “in the observation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) image, sometimes, we don’t know what the pixel is completely. And when we enlarge the image, only to see a blur.

he continued: “but when you can really see these pixels, you will be able to find what you want.” He said the side showed us digital libraries have been brain slices. The entire section presents the beautiful blue lace, the inside of the nerve fibers with only 2 to 3 microns wide, but looks very clearly. To know this is great, because the width of a human hair is around 75 microns, and a single red blood cells in general only 5 microns wide.

Brain Observatory before programmers Hauke Bartsch explained: “this is what we are talking about to Brain structure that corresponds to the level of resolution, as physicists like talking about single atoms. Structure of what we see is very clear, and it cannot do when nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (fmri).”

this high resolution image technology has attracted the attention of the medical science, the technology can be used in the study of the treatment and prevention of brain, etc. But this does not mean that ordinary people will not be able to access the library, for Brain Observatory, public access is the base of the building and intention.

this broad access to an advantage is that can improve the visibility of the project, brain research again cool again, after all, science, and is unable to continue without the support of the masses. At the same time, to allow the public to explore the library also increases the likelihood of find more secret. In Google earth, for example, some hobbyists use this project to locate archaeological site, discover the secrets of north Korea, even can also track the meteor trajectory. Citizen science project also allows amateurs can find those that are ignored by professionals, such as called “green pea” throughout the galaxy. Many curious eyes staring at a large enough data, you never know what you’re gonna find novelty.

build the brain library

in order to be able to get the overall study, every brain must be preserved. Once when donors after death, family members, he began a detailed nuclear magnetic resonance imaging scans. Then, the brain will be carefully removed from the head, this process is called a window.

the first time, the brain is like butter soft warm, must want to soak it in formaldehyde, and then placed in a laboratory in the fridge for a few months, until the organization to harden. , and then dipped the brain in sucrose solution, this time of soaking to sugar molecules instead of water molecules, which can better protect the brain tissue in the frozen section.

really difficult is slicing process. Just a single brain slice process will need to take several days, can produce more than 2000 piece of a total of 2000 microns thick tissue biopsies. Although sharp blades will automatically cut the brain, but need someone to replace every cutting 600 pieces and properly keep the priceless slice. In a video, you can see Annese very clever use brush brush him every part of the brain, a total of 2401 pieces. In order to facilitate the public access, the whole process of 53 hours of slice broadcast live online.

in the process of slicing, laboratory assistant Colleen Shehe said: “in the whole process, every link of regrets the error. Because this is actually a manual operation, is the manipulation of every section. So want to sit in the laboratory before slicing the brain, must be a lot of training.” And biopsy in operation when there are a lot of pressure, because not only does this mean that the brain donors’ behavior is really meaningful, also let project investment returns.

once slice installed, will be dyed in order to highlight the details of the brain structure (in terms of my observation, axons does not generally is blue). Then is to digitize slice. One by one, each section will be at 0.37 microns pixel (the resolution 150 times smaller than a human hair) to take pictures. In order to save the fine and clear enough detail, each slice image is composed of many pictures together. To complete the brain’s most photographed and digital process needs more than 24 hours.

“Digital brain”

specimen collection

as mentioned above, it can be digital library collection of brain are the most famous brain in psychology.

Henry Molaison (note: cloud network editor king hunting “him”, namely the name can be seen in many scientific literature) is one of them, mild and frequent epilepsy has been accompanied by his life. In 1953, an experiment in the procedure, a surgeon from Dr Corkin removed part of the temporal lobe of the brain each side, thus easing his symptoms. But the surgery has also led to his almost unable to form new memories. Scientists study of Dr Corkin amnesia continued his life, on the basis of the research has formed a theory we know today about memory.

Dr Corkin died in 2008, Annese and his colleagues took the precious brain digitally and upload to the library and the Internet. Now, you can request access to the digital resources online. So far, including hundreds of researchers, students, artists, and many curious people, as long as there is a legitimate reason to access, can view photos, digital slices, MRI images, 3 d reconstruction, and even personal data as well as the brains of the family photos to study him.

but only this one special brain is not enough. In order to be able to fill in the brain biology, plasticity, the brain pathology in areas such as research materials, Annese need a lot of the brain, need at least 1000. He need the brain from the doctor, musicians, youth and old age of the brain, need healthy and had a disease of the brain. So far, the project received donations or commitments of the brain has more than 360.

Annese said: “basically, we have to go to the study of the brain to see each unique brain.”

brain library meaning

when have enough resources, the library’s image will be able to become doctors and researchers on the patient brain virtual instead. Obviously, the doctor couldn’t get brain to withdraw from the patient’s mind, on the contrary, they can based on symptoms, pathology or other standards, such as low resolution such as MRI imaging information) in the library to find match the patient’s brain research analysis. By observing the high resolution image matching the brain, doctors may be able to find out the cause of their brain, and if they don’t have access to the library, so this is not possible.

this method to study the possibility of extension greatly. I met a undergraduate, she spends hours very patient accurately determine the mononuclear in Dr Corkin brain slices. Although time consuming, but the library open access mode to make the student no longer so pain. Due to the package, people all over the world can help solve the counting work of neurons in different regions. In the end, these data will help scientists understand how the number of neurons and density affect brain function.

of course, there is a problem has been plagued by scientists: how the brain works.

for a long time, neuroscientists priority is to separate and identify the differences in brain structure. But now, we are no longer confined to the problem. Annese said: “we are no longer focused on the classification of the common questions, researchers are now trying to understand how the brain generates behavior. And the library is one of the major projects of this problem, it not only stresses the connectivity, is also a big step in the human in this research direction.”