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Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, has already simulated elements of a rat brain. He told the TED Global conference in Oxford that a synthetic human brain would be of particular use finding treatments for mental illnesses.
Around two billion people are thought to suffer some kind of brain impairment, he said. "It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years," he said. "And if we do succeed, we will send a hologram to TED to talk."
'Shared fabric' The Blue Brain project at Swizerland's EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) was launched in 2005 and aims to reverse engineer the mammalian brain from laboratory data. In particular, his team has focused on the neocortical column - repetitive units of the mammalian brain known as the neocortex.