Must watch! Thank you, Rich Pollett , for another beautiful science post!

Must watch! Thank you, Rich Pollett , for another beautiful science post!

Originally shared by Rich Pollett

700 layers of the human brain in 47 seconds

Perhaps not for everyone however this is a facinating video. It’s hard to imagine how the allure of anatomy served thinly sliced could ever cease to be enchanting somehow for myself. The clip, while brief, comprises 700 images of a cryosectioned human brain. Each snapshot corresponds to a single, horizontal brain slice, beginning at the top of the skull and moving downward in the direction of the neck, each slice progressing a mere .174-millimeters at a time. Taken individually, no one slice is particularly striking; but upon seeing the folds of brain matter contort, vanish, and materialize in such rapid succession, the compulsion to share it became too strong to resist.

For those of you who might like to see these sections as stills:

BrainMaps.org: http://brainmaps.org/index.php?action=viewslides&datid=81

It also reminded me of the project at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC. There are currently efforts to repeat this project with higher resolution images but only with parts of the body instead of an entire cadaver.

Visible Human Project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_Human_Project

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15 Responses to Must watch! Thank you, Rich Pollett , for another beautiful science post!


  1. That’s fascinating! If a bit cringe-inducing: my scalp is still prickling.

  2. Brian Mahon says:


    Awesome I will use that for Gen Bio 2


    They like it when you show something that is some what icky!

  3. Rajini Rao says:


    Marc Ponomareff , LOL, I’m selectively squeamish..years ago, I was asked to do “dog labs” for the medical students (yes, dogs). I managed to talk my way out of it. (They don’t have them any more).


  4. from the perspective of someone that has brain cancer and frequently views his own MRIs,this was on topic and interesting!


  5. Rajini Rao, I would have had to talk my way out of that one, too 🙂

  6. Rajini Rao says:


    Richard Waddle , thanks for the unique perspective- happy to have you here!

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Marc Ponomareff , well..I had to play dirty. First, I said that I was a microbiologist and anything above single cells was too much..they said, no problem, you’ll learn fast. Then I said I was a vegetarian and squeamish and they said, oh everyone is squeamish, you’ll get used to it. Finally, I had to pull a “Hindu” on them (Ahem!) and they immediately said, no problem we understand. I still feel guilty about that, although for various reasons, the lab was done away and now the students have “virtual dogs ” to experiment with.


  8. Is this series from the images obtained when they froze a corpse and ground off layers, taking a picture after each grinding pass?

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    This brain map is a different project, John Tamplin . You are referring to the Visible Human Project (the somewhat gruesome details are in the Wiki link above).

  10. Brian Mahon says:


    I don’t want anything to do with cats or dogs (A&P).


    I do pigs with Gen Bio 2 at Houston CC at U of Houston we do comparative verts (frog, rat, shark) I can do those, but I have my limits.


  11. Wooow … no wonder I feel like a Walnut sometimes … ;-D

  12. Brian Mahon says:


    ha ha looks like it does it not.

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