At last, someone may have the courage to try to harness the brainpower of the superintelligent fearless mice.
And that someone is...IBM!
US researchers have simulated half a virtual mouse brain on a supercomputer.
The scientists ran a "cortical simulator" that was as big and as complex as half of a mouse brain on the BlueGene L supercomputer.
In other smaller simulations the researchers say they have seen characteristics of thought patterns observed in real mouse brains.
Now the team is tuning the simulation to make it run faster and to make it more like a real mouse brain.
I'm thinking two things: First, this is a neuron-level interaction simulation; so it will be interesting to see what kinds of phenomena can be modeled accurately at that level, and what kinds require subcellular or genetic controls that aren't modeled here.
Second, I'm wondering how the heck the BBC manages to write stories where every sentence is its own paragraph!
I mean, every single one!
But seriously, the question of gene-level interactions (with differential expression in different neuron types, and different brain regions) versus purely network-scale interactions will be an interesting emerging question from work like this, particularly since we have the mouse brain gene expression atlas.