Collaboration is key to scientific progress. Each year, Nature Methods publishes a list of “Methods to Watch”.Among the emerging tools in science, the BRAIN Initiative’s Cell Census Network (BICCN) was highlighted as a collaborative project of the year. The goal of this large-scale project is to use molecular, anatomical, and functional data to create a comprehensive census of cell types in the brains of species ranging from fish and mice to humans. The project will also use an infrastructure to disseminate and share data with scientists and the public. BICCN-funded scientists made several breakthroughs last year: one study showed how the human brain can remarkably adapt after one half is damaged or removed by re-wiring specialized neural networks. Looking forward, large-scale initiatives like this will greatly enhance our understanding of the brain and disease by bringing together experts to illuminate complex brain architecture.
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