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Einstein's brain can be explored with new iPad app


A new iPad app allows the user to explore Einstein's brain in 350 slices.


Steffen Kugler

Einstein's brain is front and center in a new iPad app that allows you to explore it in detail.

The app allows the user to explore 350 brain slices taken from Einstein after his death, which are held in the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Chicago.

The slices were given to the museum by the Einstein family in 2010 and were originally taken during an autopsy in 1955, said Time.

The app sells for $9.99 and acts like a microscope to show the structure of tissue and cellular make-up in the brain.

Researchers hope that the app will allow people to explore further into Einstein's brian than previous studies.

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In the most famous look at the scientist's brain in 1999, researchers showed that this parietal lobe was 15 percent wider than normal, said USA Today.

It is a region commonly associated with mathmatical thought.

Critics of the app said that with the slices it remains difficult to know exactly where in the brain users are looking.

"They didn't have MRI. We don't have a three-dimensional model of the brain of Einstein, so we don't know where the samples were taken from," said Jacopo Annese of the Brain Observatory at the University of California, San Diego, reported Wired.

Added to that, the slices are only a tiny fraction of the entire brain.

However, the app is organized into general sections like the brain stem, said USA Today.

Proceeds from the app sales will go to the US Department of Defense’s National Museum of Health and Medicine and to the Chicago branch of the museum.

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