[ image: SMH ]
Researchers have a goal so ambitious it is almost unthinkable - learning how all 85bn neurons in the human brain are wired up.
There is a macabre brilliance to the machine in Jeff Lichtman's laboratory at Harvard University that is worthy of a Wallace and Gromit film.
In one end goes brain.
Out the other comes sliced brain, courtesy of an automated arm that wields a diamond knife.
The slivers of tissue drop one after another on to a conveyor belt that zips along with the merry whirr of a cine projector.
Lichtman's machine is an automated tape-collecting lathe ultramicrotome (Atlum)."