Henry Markram is a neuroscientist on a remarkable mission to reverse-engineer a human brain with digital simulations of all the physical properties of every neuron, powered by IBM Blue Gene supercomputers, by 2020. This project is known as 'Blue Brain'. It will be extremely useful in understanding and treating brain diseases and mental illness.
According to Markram there is not a single drug manufactured for brain diseases or mental illness that scientists can be certain of what effet they'll have on the brain, or what effect it really has on a molecular level. There is not a single brain disease that is completely understood by science.
This model he is building will give scientists a very clear understanding of what happens in the human brain; how it functions and how it responds to medication. According to him it will be the only way we will successfully be able to treat diseases like Alzheimer's disease and depression.
He says we will not solve these problems the way we are doing science today. Unless science is able to simulate the interactions between the brain and certain medications, it will be impossible to find answers.
Project Blue Brain is something that has never been attempted before, but huge progress is being made and documented on film. It is very exciting to think that, as early as 2020, we will finally have a comprehensive understanding of the most complex organ in the human body, and that will allow scientists to finally find ways to work on cures for its mysterious diseases.