Global scientific research project launched to improve understanding of the human brain
Seven member countries of the OECD’s Global Science Forum have launched a project to promote international collaboration among scientists and create new ways of sharing and analysing data to improve our understanding of how the human brain works.
Advances in information technology are enabling scientists to develop increasingly sophisticated methods of measuring a brain’s functions. To spur developments in this new research field, called neuroinformatics, the seven founding countries (the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States) have set up the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF).
Other countries are expected to join the INCF in the coming months, with membership open to both OECD member and non-member countries. The host country for the headquarters of this new international body will be announced in Paris on Monday 28 November.
Better understanding the human brain could lead to breakthroughs in the prevention and cure of nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, as well as new treatments for depression or schizophrenia.
But to date it has proved difficult for the scientists and researchers working on thousands of different projects around the world to manage the vast amounts of data being collected, given that a single human brain has over 100 billion nerve cells and 5 million kilometers of neural interconnections. They then need to share these data and analyse them, often using different modeling tools across different computing platforms.
To address these challenges and others, the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility will:
- Promote international collaboration in the management of neuroscience data and associated knowledge databases
- Create new internationally agreed analytical and modeling tools
- Develop mathematical/computational models of brain function
- Promote the development of standards, guidelines, ontologies and software tools to facilitate interoperability across multiple computing platforms.
In the near future, INCF will also manage a new funding programme in neuroinformatics, to bring together international teams of scientists to collaborate on creating new databases, analytical tools and computational models.
Stefan Michalowski | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.
New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products