Sydney Brenner

1927 - 2019

"The Mind of a Worm"

The great differentiator of Homo sapiens is our brain. Much focus in the book is on the future of the brain and/or brain simulations through artificial intelligence. Indeed, much focus in genetics and neuroscience world-wide is in understanding both the genetics and connectome of the human brain.

Sydney Brenner has provided the first major stepping stone in achieving that understanding. He has determined the complete connectome as well as the associated genetics of a worm called C. elegans with its 302 neuron brain. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this work. In the cover letter used in submitting the paper for publication, he called his work, "The mind of a worm." He further stated that "There are no other wires, we know all the wires."

Although Brenner's work is a major achievement, it will be quite a leap to scale up from a worm to a human brain with its 85 billion neurons.

Click on links to other players in my journey below.