Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The best 55 million ever spent.... Allen Institute Rocks

3D Brain Explorer Maps Anatomy and Gene Expression

Scientists have unveiled a $55 million dollar project of the Allen Institute for Brain Science that is an interactive atlas of the human brain. It is called Brain Explorer, and it is the first of its kind because it not only maps the anatomy of the brain, but localized gene expression as well. Understanding the underlying biochemistry of brain regions is critical for the comprehension of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression. That is why 4000 scientists are already using Brain Explorer as a research tool.

The atlas combines brain image data collected through several imaging techniques into one 3D archive that maps anatomy and gene expression. Brain Explorer is offered as a free download through the Allen Institute for Brain Science website, and is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.