There is a new science based game called EyeWire and it is absolutely amazing! Eyewire participants plug themselves into a crowdsourcing program to help achieve a grand objective. The information so collected from the gamers is used to map the neurons in an eye’s retina for the first time.
And the results are simply astounding. Here is what the map shows. And make sure you watch the video further down.
1. An online video game known as EyeWire has been used to help map the neurons in the retina of a mouse, which can in turn be applied to that of a human. Outlined in the journal Nature, the study relied on information crowdsourced by thousands of gamers. The popular game has been running since late 2012 and shows how games can be used to help research in various branches of science. In this image, different cells in the retina have been traced in various colors by gamers.
Source: The Daily Mail.
2. In EyeWire, users are given blocks of cells within a retina of a mouse that has been moulded in plastic and scanned into the system. Gamers then intricately study the layers of cells and trace out the paths of neurons. Together, with multiple gamers tackling the same section, an accurate map of the neuron is made and a 3D representation, as seen in this image, can be made. Here in yellow-green is a starburst amacrine cell, while in blue is a single bipolar.
3. Here another starburst amacrine cell is shown in red, along with three bipolar cells. Starburst cells are used by retinas for selecting a direction to look, and they also help retinas develop over time. Bipolar cells, meanwhile, act as signal couriers between photoreceptors (which gather light) and ganglion cells that take the signals into the cortex of the brain. Aside from retinas, it is hoped that future EyeWire projects will map other functions of the brain as well.
Here is the promised video:
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