Albert Einstein's brain is going where it has never gone before: into an app.
The National Museum of Health and Medicine just released an app that's an up-close look at the genius' brain.
Museum director Jim Paglia said he believes the app will greatly enhance the science community.
"The intent there was to make these images available to the general public, to scientists, to researchers, in an iPad app where they could magnify them up to a thousand times and be able to manipulate the images," Paglia said.
For $9.99, anyone can download the app and take advantage of digitized images of nearly 350 brain slices taken from the collection bequeathed to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland by the Harvey family estate in 2010. The National Museum of Health and Medicine in Chicago digitized the slides for the app.
"We wanted to make these images more widely available so that any one who wanted to study them could," Paglia said.
Paglia said before today the images were only available to a select group of scientists and academics.
"We really believe this is going to revolutionize science and medicine. These are such delicate and important specimens that in the past only really important scientist and business professionals got the chance to see them, because they were the only ones that could get into these laboratories," Paglia said.
However, Dr. George Plotkin, medical director of the neurological institute, said although the app may be interesting, it probably will not give us much insight into how Einstein's brain worked.
"It's a question of why does one brain do this and why does one do that. Maybe there's something to be seen in the app. I'm always interested in looking at what people can find by looking at a slice of brain, but from what we've understood from looking at brains in the past is that even the most interesting brain, when you dissect it, looks like every other brain," Dr. Plotkin said.
So it might not be the tool that will solve the mysteries of the great mind, but Jim said the most important thing about the app is that now everyone can see and use the images.
"We think this is going to spark the next neurologist, scientist, great mind. We believe these images could really spark a new love for science," Paglia said.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 5:14 PM EDT2013-06-19 21:14:11 GMT
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