Scientists have created a detailed 3D map of the brain of the fruit fly

Bright and beautiful map of the tiny brain of the fruit fly provides an opportunity to see 20 million of synapses that connect neurons 25 million. On the 3D map you can see only a quarter of the brain of the fruit fly. This model is an important work in the area of connectomics — the field of neuroscience that studies of structural brain connectivity. Now experts from Google and Janelia research campus in Virginia can be large and detailed map of the brain of any animal. It should be noted that to date, fully kartirovanie is the brain of a round worm called C. elegans. Detailed information about the results of work published on the Janelia website.

What is connectomics?

Connectomics aims to understand how brain structure connected with neurology, has an ambiguous reputation in the world of science. Critics connectance believe that over two decades of research, there were no serious open. But advocates believe that it allows to associate a certain behavior of organisms with the physical parts of the brain. However, despite mixed opinions, the map will help scientists to better understand the nervous system of fruit flies.

As writes Popular Science, the 3D model of Google can be a small but significant step to understanding the connections in our own minds. However, the occurrence of such 3D maps of the brain of man, according to the researchers, is unlikely to emerge in the near future. The fact that today the attempt to create such a card would require unimaginable amounts of data for processing. Moreover, studies of the human brain depend on the differences between people.

However, the model of the brain of the fruit fly is a feat. Team Janelia more than a decade working to improve the prototype before to unite with the Google team Connectomics in 2014. Researchers have developed new technological methods to paint the fly’s brain and cut it into slices with a thickness of 20 microns, which is one third of the width of a human hair. Then they were scanning it with electron microscopes. The work took two years, during which researchers have checked the route of each synapse of 20 million. It should also be noted that fruit flies are known that demonstrate complex behavior, including mating dance.