In this article for Scientific American, I dig into one of my very favorite scientific projects: The Human Connectome Project at MIT. What’s the deal with all this excitement? What exactly are these researchers trying to accomplish? And how close are they to accomplishing it? The answers to all these questions may surprise you.
Once humans have drawn in these neuronal skeletons, an automated computer algorithm builds out a 3D model of each neuron’s three-dimensional shape. “If people had to color in the full three-dimensional shape of a neuron, instead of just drawing the skeleton, each neuron would take ten to 100 times longer, and the cost of our study could’ve been has high as $10 million,” Seung says. But using this new technique, the international team was able to complete the project at a much lower budget, in a matter of mere months.
Read more of my article at Scientific American.