3D neuron reconstruction reveals electrical behavior

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Christof Koch and Allen Institute colleagues  have created 3D computer reconstructions of living human brain cells using discarded surgical tissue.  As the tissue is still alive when it reaches the lab, the virtual cells are able to capture electrical signals, in addition to cell shape and anatomy.

This is the first time that scientists have been able to study the electrical behavior of living brain cells in humans.

Koch believes that this will enhance our understanding of how brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia, impact the behavior of brain cells.

The institute has captured electrical data from 300 living neurons, taken from 36 patient brains.  100 cells have been reconstructed in 3D.  Genetic information about some of the cells will eventually be added to the database.

Click to view the  Allen Institute video.


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