Scientists create 3-D digital brain
Researchers have constructed the first ever high-resolution 3D digital model of the human brain, which captures the brain's anatomy in microscopic detail. The model is published in the journal Science, and was given the name "Big Brain." Researchers plan to make the model available to neuroscientists to aid them in their research.
Researchers sliced 7,400 sections from the brain of a deceased 65-year-old woman. Each slice - half the thickness of a human hair - was stained to bring out anatomical detail before being scanned into the computer in high definition. The final step was to reassemble all 7,400 slices once the images were uploaded into the computer. The whole process took 10 years to complete, and captured 80 billion neurons that can now be studied in great detail.
Researchers will be able to zoom in microscopic detail to particular parts of the brain. Some scientists have likened it to Google Earth.