Harvard scientists describe a cubic millimeter of brain/Científicos de Harvard describen un milímetro cúbico de cerebro

in #science16 days ago


Just as we talk about the genome as the total DNA sequence that a particular organism has, there is also the microbiome or microbiota that describes the set of microorganisms that exist in an individual and also the connectome, which would be a map of all the existing connections between the neurons of the brain.

Al igual que se habla del genoma como la secuencia total de ADN que posee un organismo en particular, también existe el microbioma o microbiota que describe el conjunto de microorganismos que existen en un individuo y también el conectoma que sería un mapa de todas las conexiones existentes entre las neuronas del cerebro.

As you can imagine, this is an enormous task given the scandalous number of neurons and connections that a human brain can have, but now a group of scientists from Harvard University, USA, have been able to reconstruct a wiring diagram from a piece of one millimeter cubic of a human brain in unprecedented detail.

Como podréis imaginar esta es una tarea ingente dado el escandaloso número de neuronas y conexiones que puede tener un cerebro humano, pero ahora un grupo de científicos de la Universidad de Harvard, EEUU, han podido reconstruir un esquema del cableado de un trozo de un milímetro cúbico de un cerebro humano con un detalle sin precedentes.


The study was done on a sample of healthy brain tissue obtained from a 45-year-old person undergoing epilepsy surgery. Five thousand cuts were made from this cubic millimeter of tissue and 57,000 cells, 230 millimeters of blood vessels and 150 million connections were identified brain (synapses), which would be equivalent to 1,400 terabytes of data.

El estudio se hizo sobre una muestra de tejido cerebral sano obtenido de una persona de 45 años operada de epilepsia, a este milímetro cúbico de tejido se le realizaron cinco mil cortes y se identificaron 57.000 células, 230 milímetros de vasos sanguíneos y 150 millones de conexiones cerebrales (sinápsis), lo que equivaldría a 1.400 terabytes de datos.

This study has been the fruit of almost ten years of efforts in collaboration with scientists from Google Research and combines electron microscopy images with artificial intelligence algorithms that color-code the data to reconstruct the extremely complex wiring of the human brain in a way make it understandable.

Este estudio ha sido el fruto de casi diez años de esfuerzos en colaboración con científicos de Google Research y en el se combinan imágenes de microscopía electrónica con algoritmos de inteligencia artificial que codifican los datos por colores para reconstruir el cableado extremadamente complejo del cerebro humano de forma que sea comprensible.


The ultimate goal of this research would be to create a complete, high-resolution map of all the neuronal wiring of a mouse that, despite being much smaller than ours, would involve studying around a thousand times the amount of data produced in the study that we talked about but that would be a great advance for the understanding of the brain.

El objetivo final de esta investigación sería crear un mapa completo y en alta resolución de todo el cableado neuronal de un ratón que, a pesar de ser mucho más pequeño que el nuestro, implicaría estudiar alrededor de mil veces la cantidad de datos producidos en el estudio del que hablamos pero que sería un gran avance para la comprensión del cerebro.

If we review the numbers, a cubic millimeter is little more than the size of a grain of sand and from there we obtain 1,400 terabytes or what is the same one thousand four hundred trillion bytes (1.4 x 10e15) which would be equivalent to a hard drive the size of a brick full of valuable information about the connections of our brain.

Si revisamos los números, un milímetro cúbico es poco más del tamaño de un grano de arena y de ahí se obtienen 1.400 terabytes o lo que es lo mismo mil cuatrocientos billones de bytes (1,4 x 10e15) lo que equivaldría a un disco duro del tamaño de un ladrillo lleno de valiosa información acerca de las conexiones de nuestro cerebro.

More information/Más información




wowwww amazing
thank you

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The brain is an amazing organ, and in a lot of ways it's one of the organs we understand the least. That's some great information, and now with AI the studies are going to increase in speed dramatically! Histology was never my favorite course, but it is extremely interesting!

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