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Allen Institute: The Building Blocks of the Brain
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The content of this lesson develops the link between gene expression, explores the functions and specialization of various brain regions, and compares studies of the brain at the level of genes, neurons, and regions. It also introduces open research questions in the world of neuroscience. Students are guided through a data set that is under active development and are encouraged to consider current and future research.

The datasets used in the virtual experiment portion of this unit comes from Allen Brain Map, a group of open datasets encompassing gene expression in the brain, visual behavior, properties of neurons, neural development, and more. Students will learn what kind of data is collected in research settings and begin learning how it can be used.

The Allen Institute is a biological sciences nonprofit located in Seattle, WA, with focus research areas in neuroscience, cell biology, and immunology. The Institute shares all of its data and analysis tools freely with the scientific community. In addition to the research applications, educators can use the open data and tools to provide real-world and cutting-edge science experiences for their students. Because the Allen Institute shares all of its data openly, students are able to conduct virtual labs and independent research right in their browsers and generate new scientific insights. Educator resources are geared towards instructors at the high school and college level. Explore virtual events for educators and for students, turnkey virtual labs, and more. All resources and virtual events are free. Additional educator resources are available at alleninstitute.org/learn.

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Allen Institute
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