Home Cellular science AI and computer models of brain cells open the door to experiments not possible in the lab

AI and computer models of brain cells open the door to experiments not possible in the lab


Writing in an August 9 article in the newspaper Cell reportsthe scientists say their computational models are the first to combine data sets from different types of laboratory experiments, providing a comprehensive picture of the electrical, genetic and biological activity of individual neurons.

To create the models, the researchers used two different datasets of the mouse’s primary visual cortex, the area of ​​the brain that processes information from the eyes. The first dataset presented comprehensive genetic images of tens of thousands of individual cells, while the second linked the electrical responses and physical characteristics of 230 cells from the same brain region.

“We introduce a computational optimization workflow to generate 9,200 single neuron models with active conductances. These models are based on 230 in vitro electrophysiological experiments followed by morphological reconstruction from mouse visual cortex. We show that, contrary to current belief, the generated models are robust representations of individual experiences and cortical cell types as defined by cellular electrophysiology or transcriptomics,” the study authors state.

The models can be used to test theories that would require dozens of lab experiments, according to Costas Anastassiou, PhD, the study’s lead author and a researcher in Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Neurosurgery.

“Imagine you wanted to study how 50 different genes affect biological processes in a cell,” Anastassiou said in a statement. “You would need to create a separate experiment to ‘knock out’ each gene and see what happens. Using our computational models, we will be able to modify the recipes for these genetic markers for as many genes as we want and predict what happens. will pass. .”

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