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Human Connectome Project maps brain's circuitry, produces super trippy graphics

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A team of researchers at the Human Connectome Project (HCP) have been carving up mice brains like Christmas hams to find out how we store memories, personality traits, and skills -- the slices they're making, though, are 29.4 nanometers thick. The end goal is to run these tiny slices under a microscope, create detailed images of the brain, and then stitch them back together, eventually creating a complete map of the mind, or connectome. The team, comprised of scientists at Harvard, UCLA, University of Minnesota, and Washington University, is still a long way from cutting up a human brain, partially due to storage limitations -- a picture of a one-millimeter cube of mouse brain uses about a petabyte of memory. A human brain would require millions of petabytes, and an indefinite number of years, causing speculation that the payoff isn't worth the effort -- although, we're convinced the HCP wallpaper possibilities are totally worth it.

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