• Kathy Carr

NeuroDevelopment Through Big Data

"18 days after an ovum has been fertilized to form a new human organism, the nervous system begins to form. The nervous system undergoes a remarkable metamorphosis during prenatal life, producing an average of 2.5 million neurons per minute within the uterine environment to generate an estimated 1 trillion neurons present in a mature brain. The formation of the nervous system is an incredible feat of genetic engineering, although this self-organization is compromised in individuals with neurodevelopmental challenges such as autism. “Despite impressive progress in neuroscience over the past decades, our understanding of how billions of neurons come together to form the nervous system and enable function and behavior is in its infancy, especially when it comes to the human brain,” notes the authors of “Looking at Neurodevelopment through a big data lens. “The field is at a turning point. The introduction of new technologies that produce large volumes of high-resolution measurements—big data—has the potential to revolutionize the study of brain development.”

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