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Project to Map Human Brain From Womb to Birth Releases Stunning Images

A landmark project to map the wiring of the human brain from womb to birth has released thousands of images that will help scientists unravel how conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and attention deficit disorders arise in the brain. The first tranche of images come from 40 newborn babies who were scanned in their sleep to produce stunning high-resolution pictures of early brain anatomy and the intricate neural wiring that ferries some of the earliest signals around the organ. Once a baby has been scanned, the images are processed to highlight basic anatomical features, such as the visual and auditory cortices, areas of grey and white matter, and the peaks and troughs of the crinkled cortex. The researchers ultimately hope to have medical and genetic data for the babies, and test results from later in life, which could give scientists extraordinary insights into how subtle changes in brain wiring and anatomy influence later life.

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