Read Full Story Researchers from Harvard will be part of an ambitious new initiative to develop a better understanding of the brain. Neuroscientists have dreamed for years of understanding the role that each individual brain cells plays, and how the cells differ, connect and function. But the number of cells has been simply too massive to study or map all of them on an individual level.Now, thanks to advances in technology, the neuroscientists’ dream is closer to being realized than ever before. In a project of unprecedented scale, the National Institutes of Health has awarded an international consortium of laboratories $64.7 million over the next five years to begin to build a detailed mouse brain atlas that will catalog and map the cells in a mouse brain. The project aims to identify all of the different cell types in the brain, determine what set of genes each type uses, and map their physical locations.In addition, the consortium will examine the forebrain, the part of the brain involved in most forms of cognition, emotion, and sensorimotor processing, in more detail, aiming to also determine the size and shape of each of the major types of neuron, and trace the connections they make to other regions of the brain. Part of the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, this project complements efforts by other BRAIN Initiative consortia to map the brains of humans and non-human primates.The mouse brain cell atlas project is led by Paola Arlotta, Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and the Eli & Edythe Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Josh Huang, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and it brings together a diverse array of co-investigators from many institutions.A comprehensive catalog of the different types of brain cells, mapped to their physical locations in the brain, will ultimately improve researchers’ understanding of how the brain develops, connects and works—and what can go wrong with it in disease.“In order to solve medical problems, you really need this foundational knowledge of what cell types there are, where in the brain they are, and where they connect to,” Arlotta says. “And much of this information has been missing in the field, because we were not able, technology-wise, to gather it across the whole brain.”The labs will use several cutting edge techniques to build molecular profiles of each cell. Then they will match these profiles to a “brain atlas,” a 3D virtual map of the brain, connecting each cell’s molecular level data to a physical location.A wide variety of research projects will be facilitated by the atlas, from basic neuroscience to disease modeling.The grant reported in this publication was awarded by the National Institute Of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U19MH114821.—Written by Greta Friar
Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.
RelatedPosts John Terry loses £207k investment John Terry pens new Aston Villa contract John Terry in line for Middlesbrough job John Terry’s alleged brand new £4.35 million mansion is close to that of former Chelsea teammate, Wayne Bridge.The Aston Villa assistant shared a dressing room with the retired left-back for six years at Stamford Bridge.And now it appears that the duo have been reunited in Surrey, with both their homes overlooking the English countryside, according to The Sun.The two have a colourful past that dates back to their days at Chelsea.In 2010, it was alleged that Terry, married to Toni, seduced Vanessa Perroncel just weeks after the French model had split with Bridge.The two, who have a son called Jayden together, had been in a relationship for four years before she left the ex-Southampton star.Terry was accused of wooing Perroncel after comforting her over the break-up, while details were initially kept quiet with a super-injunction.However, the court order was lifted a week later as the bombshell claims rocked the footballing world.Perroncel has always denied any relationship with Terry, while tensions between the two players came to a head in February 2010 on the pitch.With Bridge plying his trade for Manchester City, the England international snubbed Terry in the pre-match handshakes.He has since married The Saturday’s member Frankie Sandford.The couple have two children together, Parker and Carter.Terry reportedly bought his seven-bedroom house in the summer, with a source telling The Sun: “It’s going to be pretty hard for them not to bump into each other. They are literally just a few minutes walk apart. It could make an awkward meeting.”Bridge bought his property two years ago with Frankie and it has a similar design to Terry’s.The Chelsea legend’s property reportedly has a library, study, swimming pool and tennis court and also a stables. Tags: John TerryVanessa Perroncel