The Allen Institute for Brain Science this morning revealed a first-of-its-kind map that charts the complex inner workings of the human brain at a level that the Seattle-based institute describes as unprecedented. Among the findings: Our brains are more than 90 percent similar to each another.

A view of the Allen Human Brain Atlas

“Until now, a definitive map of the human brain, at this level of detail, simply hasn’t existed,” said Allan Jones, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, in a news release. “The Allen Human Brain Atlas provides never-before-seen views into our most complex and most important organ.”

The atlas is anatomically and genomically comprehensive, mapping the complete biochemistry of two adult human brains.  The data reveal a fascinating 94% similarity in brain structure between human brains. The research also concludes that at least 82% of all human genes are formulated in the brain.

This discovery gives scientists the tools to link symptoms of diseases with the actual genes, which may aid in the study of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The Allen Institute, which started with $100 million in seed funding from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has made the map free and available to the public at www.brain-map.org.

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