Real human brain living

An immensely powerful computer will give new insight into Alzheimer’s and other diseases

The Human Brain Project: a simulation of neural activity in the human brain

SCIENTISTS are to create the world’s first simulation of a whole human brain, using the most powerful computer built.

The machine will allow researchers to study the brain right down to the level of individual cells and the molecules within them.

A key aim of the Human Brain Project, funded by the European Union, will be to find new insights into neurological diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to depression, and to test novel drugs and other treatments. Another will be to see if such a machine might be able to generate a new form of human-like intelligence.

“The aim is to simulate the entire human brain, ” said Professor Henry Markram, head of the neural microcircuitry laboratory at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, who is leading the project.

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