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A Robot for Analyzing Single Cells in the Living Brain

BCS professor Ed Boyden, along with other researchers at Georgia Tech and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT (, has developed a way to automate the process of finding and recording information from neurons in the living brain. The researchers have shown that a robotic arm guided by a cell-detecting computer algorithm can identify and record from neurons in the living mouse brain with better accuracy and speed than a human experimenter. Using this technique, scientists could classify the thousands of different types of cells in the brain, map how they connect to each other, and figure out how diseased cells differ from normal cells.

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