Building a map of the complex human brain and its approximately 100 billion individual neurons is no easy task. As a precursor to tackling that monumental challenge, researchers have started off with something smaller and easier—the mouse brain—in order to understand different cell types and how they are connected, and also to perfect the technological approaches to do so.
Now, a new paper describes the minute genomic details of the mouse brain at unprecedented resolution and how several types of genomics techniques were combined to enable this analysis, which was led by graduate student A. Sina Booeshaghi (MS ’19).
The study was primarily conducted in the laboratory of Lior Pachter (BS ’94), Bren Professor of Computational Biology and Computing and Mathematical Sciences, and is part of a collaboration called the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative–Cell Census Network (BICCN), funded by the National Institutes of Health. This study and several other papers from the BICCN collaboration appear in the journal Nature on October 6.
Photo credit: Caltech