Blue Brain

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Blue Brain

Postby dignan » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:43 am

This project isn't immediately related to MS, but it's about eventually gaining a complete understanding of the brain.



Growing a Brain in Switzerland

Feb 16, 2007 - Der Spiegel - A network of artificial nerves is growing in a Swiss supercomputer -- meant to simulate a natural brain, cell-for-cell. The researchers at work on "Blue Brain" promise new insights into the sources of human consciousness.

The machine is beautiful as it wakes up -- nerve cells flicker on the screen in soft pastel tones, electrical charges flash through a maze of synapses. The brain, just after being switched on, seems a little sleepy, but gentle bursts of current bring it fully to life.

This unprecedented piece of hardware consists of about 10,000 computer chips that act like real nerve cells. To simulate a natural brain, part of the cerebral cortex of young rats was painstakingly replicated in the computer, cell by cell, together with the branched tree-like structure of the synapses.

The simulation was created at the Technical University in Lausanne, Switzerland, where 35 researchers participate in maintaining this artificial brain. It runs on one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, but soon even that computer will be too small. The goal is to build a much bigger electronic thinking machine -- one that would ultimately replicate the human brain.

For the rest of the article:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spi ... 89,00.html
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dignan
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