The Allen Institute is employing AWS Cloud and machine learning to decode brain mysteries

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High-resolution mapping of the human brain involves managing and interpreting a colossal amount of data. Shoaib Mufti, the head of data and technology at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, described the organization’s approach to these challenges in a recent interview. The project uses artificial intelligence to analyze millions of data points from brain imaging and genetic data, akin to the Human Genome Project.

Allen Institute’s AI-driven brain decoding

Mufti’s team at the Allen Institute is aiming to map the human brain at a cellular level. Their work has led to the creation of a genome-scale Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, a comprehensive, freely accessible online resource for neuroscience research, housing over 20,000 genes and more than 650,000 images.

The Allen Institute uses several AWS Cloud services to manage and analyze the vast amounts of data. They use Amaz…

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The Brain Knowledge Platform aims to illumine the brain’s cellular universe

Image from the Brain Explorer 2 software, a desktop application that enables users to interactively explore human brain anatomy and gene expression data in 3D. [Allen Institute for Brain Science]

Despite substantial progress in brain research, our understanding of the human brain remains limited. “We really don’t understand the fine circuitry of the brain — even in a relatively simple organism like a mouse,” confessed Ed Lein, a senior investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. But AI in neuroscience research promises to change the game, ushering our understanding of the brain into a new era.

“What’s been happening for quite a while now is a desire to really try to understand the basic architecture of the brain better,” Lein said. And what’s become quite clear is that the basic unit of the brain is the cell.” So we need to describe the brain at the cellular level.&…

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