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The Brain Observatory used several web cameras to invite the general public to participate in an extraordinary scientific endeavor. Researchers voyaged through the brain of the most famous medical patient in the history of science, Patient H. M., acquiring anatomical images and collecting 2401 paper-thin tissue sections during a 53-hour procedure.

The response from the public was astonishing. Over a three-day period more than 400,000 people tuned in to watch at least a portion of the experiment, enough to fill four NFL stadiums. 18,000 watched at one single point. 5,000 were with us when we reached the very tip of the occipital lobes, which marked the end of the cutting procedure.

Our project is the first to accomplish the uninterrupted cryo-sectioning of one WHOLE human brain - collecting histological sections and blockface images. Just as importantly, this project is the first to make a direct connection with the public, with obvious impact, and we are extremely proud of that. This success fully rewards the herculean effort that the entire laboratory underwent to reach the ambitious scientific goals that we had set for the first phase project.

The feedback that we received from the public and from our colleagues was overwhelmingly positive, but some viewers disapproved. We thought all comments should be available for public review (and amusement), the goodthe bad, and the ugly. Specific (technical) questions about the procedure will be addressed on our web site as soon as possible. You should also view our stupendous Twitter and Facebook following.

We are receiving many letters of support and donations in all amounts. We aim at creating a permanent collection of glass slides and digital images for the brain of Patient H.M. Your continuing support is invaluable. So, we invite you to SPONSOR A SLIDE.


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