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07 March 2014

The Human Brain Project

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This week, José Antonio López Guerrero’s RNE program “Entre Probetas” presents the European Human Brain Project. How does the human brain work? The secrets of the human mind are to be found in neuro-science, technology and medicine.

Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that make our brain into a “mind” has been and remains one of the most complex challenges for us to unravel in the 21st century. Francis Crick’s words on the complexity of our neuronal connections and comparison with the stars in the firmament now seem a long time ago. The Human Brain Project is seeking to analyze and characterize what makes us human, developing new treatments for brain conditions and, as a by-product, creating new and revolutionary computing technologies. At least, this is what we can understand from the description given by the project itself on its website: where it describes its mission as the convergence between biology and information and communication technology to unravel the complexity of the brain.

The Human Brain Project is an EU initiative, bringing together more than 80 partners in brain research and its applications. This community consists of institutes, museums, companies, universities and other bodies from throughout Europe and Israel, including Madrid’s Autónoma, Politécnica and Rey Juan Carlos Universities, and the Granada, Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra Universities.

One of the major obstacles to understanding “the human mind” has always been the fragmented nature of research. The Human Brain Project aims to bring together all available data on the Central Nervous System as a whole, unifying it into a system with multiple levels.

The project aims to make important contributions in the fields of neuro-science, at both the cellular and molecular levels, medicine and future computing technologyThe Human Brain Project will last for ten years, in a number of different phases.

If you want to listen to the original content (in Spanish only), You can enjoy it here.

José Antonio López Guerrero (JAL)

Tenured professor of microbiology at the UAM. Researcher and director of scientific culture at the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Centre.

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