Tuesday, 24 July 2018


Via Slashdot, we learn that a team of researchers associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have achieved a significant technical milestone in creating the first digital topographical map of a fruit fly brain, a composite of thousands of slices and millions of images. The nanoscale resolution and completeness that could only be practically accomplished with the help of automation allows scientists to monitor the connections of a single neurone to another across and examine the precise web and discharge patterns underpinning specific behaviours of these complex and sophisticated creatures. For scale, entering the mind of a fly we find a network of approximately one hundred thousand neuronal nodes, whereas in humans there are one hundred billion, each with synaptic connections to seven thousand neighbours.