first_imgGot microscopic images of neurons from a bee brain? How about brain cells from fruit fly larvae, mice—or people? BigNeuron wants your data. Whether a neuron branches like a chandelier or spreads like a pyramid, a brain cell’s 3D shape is one of the most important clues about its function, says project leader Hanchuan Peng, a neuroscientist at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington. However, different labs use incompatible methods to digitally reconstruct neurons, making their data hard to share. BigNeuron, announced today, will collect microscopic images of neurons from labs worldwide, then host hackathons to develop algorithms that supercomputers can use to create 3D neuronal reconstructions. Free, easy access to this vast library of brain cells, such as the fruit fly neuron above, will help researchers better understand how information flows between cells, Peng says: After all, the brain’s complex connectivity, which produces all thoughts and behavior, “doesn’t just come out of the air.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *