East side Jargon about home,family,sports,fun,and blogging

Location: T-Town, Alabama, United States

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hi every one, are you ready for hump day! Man this week is moving along fast! I ran across another computer story today to share with you as Apple dumps IBM, IBM announces and aggressive move into the future that will take years to complete if it’s ever completed! … Image hosted by Sciences and Medicine
IBM Aims To Simulate A Brain
Matthew Herper, 06.06.05, 6:00 AM ET NEW YORK - IBM has embarked on a quest for the holy grail of neuroscience--the far-off goal of creating a computer simulation of the human brain.

When the first mammals evolved from reptiles 200 million years ago, one of the biggest changes was inside their heads. Their brain cells were structured together into columns, an innovation that could be repeated like a computer chip to make larger and more powerful minds-- from mice to cats and dogs to humans.

"This was the jump from reptiles to mammals," says Henry Markram, founder of the Brain/Mind Institute at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland. "It was like discovering a G5 processor or Pentium 4 and just copying it."

Now, Markram is announcing a collaboration with IBM (nyse: IBM - news - people ) to create a computer simulation of these fundamental neurological units, called neocortical columns. The process will involve building a Blue Gene supercomputer with 8,000 processors that can roar along at 23 trillion operations per second. Each processor will be used to simulate one or two neurons. If finished immediately, the machine would be one of the five fastest supercomputers in the world.

A neurocortical column is a structure half a millimeter in diameter and 2 millimeters long that contains about 60,000 neurons. (The human brain is made of 10 billion neurons.) Nobel Prize-winner Torsten Wiesel of Rockefeller University discovered the columns. They remain similar in different mammals, but the human brain is crammed with more of them. It was the need to fit in more columns that forced the human brain into its crinkly, wrinkled shape


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