Virtual Live Brain Cell Research Database in Seattle

First official open database for brain research is created in Seattle USA. Scientists took a live part of human brain flesh which was put aside during an operation in local hospital. The Allen Institute for Brain Science last week shed some light on these virtual human brain cells. These cell are not real but stimulating close to real. Their functions are also stimulating electrical signals that are generated in mind. Idea of creating open database is great for opening doors to new scientists and data sharing. Below is video which briefly describe virtual human cells.

This brain structure theory is started by The Allen Institute for Brain Science and further collaborated by neurosurgeons from Seattle USA including leading scientist Christof Koch. Human brain is very complicated and all latest research includes experiments on animals like dogs, pigs etc. Christof Koch said that if we want to treat human diseases then research should be on living human cells. So a discarded sample of live human brain is taken for experiment. This led to open new doors of research. Human brain has many mysterious diseases which are still not cured in medical science like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and depression. Last week I wrote an article on depression treatment using magic mushrooms which was great news for depresses patients.

Human brain and its capabilities. Conceptual vision.
Human brain and its capabilities. Conceptual vision. (Credits: Svisio/Getty Images under Standard License)

Neurosurgeons started to take sample cells from patients of brain tumors, epilepsy etc. These samples are taken time to time for regular improvement in 3D brain structures. But neurosurgeons recommend that live human samples would also be required for refining virtual structures. Although it is tough to get live human samples but definitely required from outer layer of brain which includes memory, consciousness details of human. Such samples are necessary because mostly discarded pieces of brain are diseased, waste or not usable.

The Allen Cell Types Database is open for all scientists. Chief scientist Christof Koch said that database is ready with data collection from 300 live neurons of various patients. Much data is already available in database about mouse brain. Scientists have made around hundred plus 3-D structures of cells. But still research is going on in positive phase. Lot has to learn yet.

Allen Institute has received grants from NIH (National Institute of Health) of $100 million over five years. This research grant will help fund database, pay salaries and invest on buying new equipment so that fruitful results can be obtained from research.

Noble prize winners of 1906 Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramon y Cajal started the journey towards new direction in understanding brain cells. They were first to depict the actual layout of brain cells and their anatomy with neurons. Neurons is first step towards understanding what brain does. It is consisted on a nuclei, axons and dendrites. Nuclei is central part which is responsible for transmitting data to and from other brain cells. Axons are used to transmit signals whereas dendrites are reserved for incoming signals towards nuclei. Each neuron is connected with many others. Neuro scientists are satisfied that single human brain contains around 84 billion neurons. These further connect with each other and make more than 101 trillion neuron connections.

Allen Institute scientists are breaking these enormous number of brain cells into simpler form. An expert from Allen says that considering 80 billion plus neurons is complicated and much tough to understand. So it is necessary to categorise this huge number into types of cells. If we conisder a single brain cortex that around 100 types of cells would be found. So it will become lot easier if we break these into smaller chunks. In the above picture you will see types of brain neurons in various colors for better understanding by Allen Institute.

Allen Institute is considering to ease working of brain cells. Allen scientists are putting their fine details in 3D computer format. This will provide finer level of understanding at better scale. If a scientists want to cure Alzheimer’s or autism then working at such fine level of computer structure would be lot easier. If we know types of neurons then differentiating is lot easier.

Team of this brain research includes Jonathan Ting, Hamilton, Christof Koch, Ed Lein and many more. Hamilton says that samples of live human cells lasts much longer than mouse brain cells. So it is quit easy to stimulate real functions of brain. Each brain cell has a history that scientists are trying to decode using various methods. Ed Lein is quit positive about getting such research on board and funded at state level.

This is picture of Neun taken from live samples of 60 years old female. She is facing epilepsy since 18 years. Her background is white ethnic. This Neun sample is very rare. It is helpful for understanding basic details of epilepsy disease. If Allen Institute becomes successful in grading human cells or neurons then classification of discarded cells would be lot easier.

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