Research: More Big science of the Human Brain

Hawrylycz et al..An anatomically comprehensive atlas of the adult human brain transcriptome. Nature. 2012;489(7416):391-9. doi: 10.1038/nature11405.

Neuroanatomically precise, genome-wide maps of transcript distributions
are critical resources to complement genomic sequence data and to
correlate functional and genetic brain architecture. Here we describe
the generation and analysis of a transcriptional atlas of the adult
human brain, comprising extensive histological analysis and
comprehensive microarray profiling of ∼900 neuroanatomically precise
subdivisions in two individuals. Transcriptional regulation varies
enormously by anatomical location, with different regions and their
constituent cell types displaying robust molecular signatures that are
highly conserved between individuals. Analysis of differential gene
expression and gene co-expression relationships demonstrates that
brain-wide variation strongly reflects the distributions of major cell
classes such as neurons, oligodendrocytes,
astrocytes and microglia. Local neighbourhood relationships between
fine anatomical subdivisions are associated with discrete neuronal
subtypes and genes involved with synaptic transmission. The neocortex
displays a relatively homogeneous transcriptional pattern, but with
distinct features associated selectively with primary sensorimotor
cortices and with enriched frontal lobe expression. Notably, the spatial
topography of the neocortex is strongly reflected in its molecular
topography-the closer two cortical regions, the more similar their
transcriptomes. This freely accessible online data resource forms a
high-resolution transcriptional baseline for neurogenetic studies of
normal and abnormal human brain function


They have sequenced ( found the genetic code) of the genome (the DNA) but to make proteins the DNA has to be transcribed into RNA (the genetic code of the protein) and then translated in Protein such that amino acid building blocks of proteins are constructed into proteins. Finding the sequences of things being made is the transriptome. When things are done in biology alot of things can be being made at once so the transcriptome of one cell or one area will be different to another area. The transcriptome tells use what cells are are making (read more on this). This study maps the   transcriptome of the human brain, clearly what is and will happen further is the transcriptome of the brain during MS will be explored. This type of information is important to understand human brain function in health and disease.

More information can be obtained at the Allen Brain Atlas data Portal

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