Ted Video: Allan Jones: A map of the brain

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  • #1
rhody
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http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_jone..._campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email"
Using an innovative approach to human brain mapping, the Allen Institute is developing a one-of-a-kind resource for understanding genes at work in the human brain. Launched in May 2010, the ALLEN Human Brain Atlas is expected to provide insights that propel researchers to understand and discover new treatments for a variety of brain diseases and disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia and drug addiction.
http://www.ted.com/speakers/allan_jones.html" [Broken]
The Allen Institute for Brain Science -- based in Seattle, kickstarted by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen -- has a mission to fuel discoveries about the human brain by building tools the entire scientific community can use. As CEO, one of Allan Jones' first projects was to lead the drive to create a comprehensive atlas of the brain of a mouse. Flash forward to April 2011, when the Allen Institute announced the first milestone in its online interactive atlas of the human brain, showing the activity of the more than 20,000 human genes it contains. It's based on a composite of 15 brains, since every human brain is unique.

Think of the Allen Human Brain Atlas as a high-tech bridge between brain anatomy and genetics. Using this atlas, scientists will be able to determine where in the brain genes that encode specific proteins are active, including proteins that are affected by medication. Or researchers could zoom in on brain structures thought to be altered in mental disorders such as schizophrenia to find their molecular footprint. The atlas may provide clues to memory, attention, motor coordination, hunger, and perhaps emotions such as happiness or anxiety.

He says: "Understanding how our genes are used in our brains will help scientists and the medical community better understand and discover new treatments for the full spectrum of brain diseases and disorders."
http://human.brain-map.org/explorer.html" [Broken]
  • View a fully interactive version of the Allen Human Brain Atlas in 3D.
  • View gene expression data in 3D: inflated cortical surfaces are colored by gene expression values of nearby samples.
  • View expression data from different donors side-by-side.
  • Explore anatomically-labeled MRI images and cortical surfaces.
  • Investigate probes or samples of interest in more detail with direct links back to the Allen Human Brain Atlas web page.
Lots of explore and research here, cheers Paul Allen of Microsoft for making the tool(s), data available to everyone.

Rhody...
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Ryan_m_b
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Interesting resource. There are many potential applications of this if the database can be expanded beyond the limited amount of subjects it currently has.
 
  • #3
Pythagorean
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I've considered using the brain atlas for a computational neurogenetics research topic I have in mind.
 
  • #4
rhody
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I've considered using the brain atlas for a computational neurogenetics research topic I have in mind.
Keep us in the loop if you go forward with it, OK ?

Rhody...
 
  • #5
Pythagorean
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There's a book if you're interested:
http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1534301

One of the approaches I found in here is where you use traditional spiking neurons (i.e. Hodgkins-Huxley type neuron models) but consider genetic networks as parameter inputs to your neurons.

So you'd have a higher level neural network running off of the lower level genetic network.

Of course, if I actually started doing the project and investing time/energy in to it, I probably wouldn't share my methods and results until I published :biggrin:
 
  • #6
atyy
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There's a book if you're interested:
http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1534301

One of the approaches I found in here is where you use traditional spiking neurons (i.e. Hodgkins-Huxley type neuron models) but consider genetic networks as parameter inputs to your neurons.

So you'd have a higher level neural network running off of the lower level genetic network.

Of course, if I actually started doing the project and investing time/energy in to it, I probably wouldn't share my methods and results until I published :biggrin:
Interesting. Has anyone managed to predict some intrinsic properties of a neuron from its transcriptional profile?

This looks like it might be related? http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/faculty/nelson.html
 
  • #7
Pythagorean
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That looks similar to a method described by Kasabov (using ECOS for gene expression profiling) in the book I linked.

The book also mentions a few applications for schizophrenia, mental retardation, general development, and LTP; I know the models can make predictions, I don't know how well they are verified.
 

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