Of Mice and Men, Science Mimics Creation

BlueGene L - IBM supercomputer
BlueGene L - IBM supercomputer

by Chris Banescu

As scientific research and advancements, supported by increasingly more powerful computer technologies, delve into the vast complexities of biological organisms, the handiwork and genius of their Creator become more obvious and irrefutable. Recent experiments by researchers using a computer generated “cortical simulator” designed to duplicate a miniscule fraction of the functions of a mouse brain illustrate the immense structural sophistication and the enormous intricacies inherent in all living creatures.

In February 2007 scientists from IBM’s Almaden Research Lab and the University of Nevada used the BlueGene/L supercomputer, equipped with 4,096 processors each using 256MB of memory (for a total of 1 Terabyte (TB) of memory), to run a simulation that attempted to mimic one second’s worth of the processes of half a mouse brain. The “massively parallel cortical simulator” recreated the equivalent of 8,000,000 neurons with 6,300 synapses each, inside the 1 TB main memory of the system. Despite such massive computing power, the vast complexity of the simulation required that the experiment run for a full ten seconds in order to simulate just one second of real time mouse brain activity. [Read more…]