Posts Tagged ‘Allen Brain Atlas’

First comprehensive gene map of human brain

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 04-14-2011

A while back we told you about the Allen Institute’s Brain Atlas project which is a comprehensive genomic map of the human brain and serves as a wonderful model of what an open concept research model can acheive.

This week, the Allen Institute for Brain Research announced that it has released the world’s first anatomically and genomically comprehensive human brain map, a previously unthinkable feat made possible through leading-edge technology and more than four years of rigorous studies and documentation.

According to Allan Jones, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science:

Until now, a definitive map of the human brain, at this level of detail, simply hasn’t existed. The Allen Human Brain Atlas provides never-before-seen views into our most complex and most important organ. 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, from mental illness and drug addiction, to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, autism and more.

The Allen Human Brain Atlas is free and available an online public resource at www.brain-map.org.

For more information see the Allen Institute press release.

Jonah Lehrer of The Frontal Cortex blog hosted on Wired recently interviewed Allan Jones about the Brain Map project. The interview can be read here.

Mapping the Human Brain

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-25-2010

The Allen Institute for Brain Science initiated the Allen Brain Atlas in 2003 with a goal to create a genomic map of the mouse brain. The mouse brain atlas was successfully completed in 2006 using 85 million images containing 600 terabytes of data and identifying 21,000 active genes in the mouse brain. The atlas has become a fundamental tool for neurobiologists and the open concept research model has set and interesting paradigm for sharing data and accelerating research progress.

In today’s issue of ScienceInsider, Greg Miller reports that the institute has now launched a map of gene expression in the human brain.

As has been discussed in previous posts on this blog, I believe that a systems approach to biology is critical in achieving a fundamental understanding of functional activity of molecular mechanisms in their correct context. Tools such as the brain atlas make it much easier for scientists to take a holistic approach to their research by allowing them to see the “bigger picture” of temporal and spatial gene expression prior to beginning functional analysis.

Do you have experience with the Allen Brain Atlas or other such research tools? If so, please let us know how they’ve helped you develop your research approach.

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Jones AR, Overly CC, & Sunkin SM (2009). The Allen Brain Atlas: 5 years and beyond. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 10 (11), 821-8 PMID: 19826436

Davis FP, & Eddy SR (2009). A tool for identification of genes expressed in patterns of interest using the Allen Brain Atlas. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 25 (13), 1647-54 PMID: 19414530