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They create first brain map from fruit flies: research took 12 years

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Brain maps made from fruit flies by British and American scientists have been classified as a historic achievement.

Twelve years of mapping neurons per day was enough to arrive at the great medical discoveries that would unite science once it was finally completed. Drosophila Brain Map .

As reported by DW Mapping this insect is quite A milestone in neuroscience good Empowering experts to truly understand how they think It will also be useful for future research on this organ.

This is the largest complete brain connectome (a diagram of neuronal connections) described to date, published in Science.

Behind this painstaking investigation, lasted 12 years teams from Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Cambridge (UK).

“If you want to understand who we are and how we think, part of that is understanding the mechanics of thinking,” he says. Joshua T. Fogelstein of Johns Hopkins who has the key know how neurons connect to each other .

First attempt to map the brain –14 years of research on roundworms Beginning in the 1970s, as a result partial map and the Nobel Prize.

Since then, partial connectomes have been mapped in many systems, including flies, mice and even humans. These reconstructions are typically only a small fraction of the total brain explains Johns Hopkins.

Brain maps have only been generated for a few small species (roundworms, sea squirt larvae, marine annelid larvae) with hundreds or thousands of neurons.

“This means that neuroscience was working pretty much without schematics.” ,wrap up Marta Zlatik from UK University “Even if you don’t know the structure of the brain, I’m guessing how the computation is implemented, but you can mechanically start to understand how the brain works “, explanation.

10+ years of research

Current technology is not yet advanced enough to map the brain maps of higher animals such as large mammals.

However, “all brains are similar – they are networks of interconnected neurons – and all brains in all species must perform many complex behaviors: processing sensory information, learning, Choice of behavior, navigating the environment, choosing food, recognizing congeners, or escaping from predators.

The connectome of the young fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is the most complete and extensive brain map of any insect. Including 3,016 neurons and all connections between them: 548,000 .

Getting the Big Picture at the Cellular Level of the Brain Must be divided into hundreds or thousands of individual tissue samples All of this must be analyzed by electron microscopy before the painstaking process of reconstructing fragments neuron by neuron into a complete and accurate portrait of the brain.

The team deliberately chose Drosophila larvae (or fruits). This species shares much of its basic biology with humans, including a comparable genetic base. .

This work lasted 12 years. Imaging alone took about a day per neuron.

Source: Biobiochile

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