The human brain is perhaps one of the most complicated riddle’s known to mankind. We have forever wondered; exactly how does it function? Why are some people more intelligent than others? Etc. Now, the Franklin Institute has made it possible for scientists and common man alike, to view a 3D model of a human brain, through 3D printing.
The Institutes latest exhibition invites people to think, how they think – confusing? Not at all, all this exhibit talks about is the functioning of the human brain, and the tremendous possibilities in the future, if scientists manage to unravel the beauty behind God’s greatest creation.
One of the many explicit features of this exhibit is a 3D printed model of the white matter patterns inside the human brain. It’s now a well-known fact that, white matter inside the human brain is a part of the central nervous system and majorly help in transmitting signals through myelinated axons from one part of the cerebrum, to another and also to the lower brain centers.
Contrary to popular belief the white matter inside the human brain, is not a passive tissue. It actively affects the way the hum brain learns, functions and reacts to anomalies. For an easy understanding, one may compare the functions to the brain to a computer network. The gray matter may be considered as the actual computers, whereas the white matter acts as the network cables, connecting all the computers in the network.
Dr. Jayatri Das, Chief Bio-Scientist at The Franklin Institute, explained why they have chosen 3D printing to create the piece:
“Our philosophy behind our exhibits is to make real science approachable through hands-on, engaging exhibits.” said Dr. Das. “From an educational point of view, we knew that the concept of functional pathways needed to be an important aspect of brain science that was addressed in the exhibit, and diffusion tensor imaging gets to the heart of the real science through which scientists try to understand the wiring of these pathways. The 2D images we had seen were really beautiful, so we thought that a large-scale 3D print would be perfect as an intriguing, eye-catching sculpture that would serve as both a unique design focus and a connection to research.”
More information on this upcoming exhibit, including venue and time, can be found on 3Ders.org