Virtual Fly Brain


  • Prof James Armstrong

    University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

  • Dr Gregory Jefferis

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Dr Helen Parkinson

    EMBL-EBI, United Kingdom

  • Prof Nicholas Brown

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Project summary

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a simple yet remarkably powerful example of how brains work. Its brain contains 100 thousand neurons, but is still extremely complex. Several hundred research groups around the world are using flies to explore fundamental principles of how all brains work and this fundamental research underpins our understanding of health and disease. There are now massive amounts of fly brain mapping data (nearing complete coverage) and very powerful experimental tools. However brain scientists need sophisticated computer tools and databases to make use of all this information. Without these tools they are unable to plan experiments properly. Virtual Fly Brain provides a one-stop-shop for research into the fly brain. Its intuitive interface allows brain scientists to combine the data from others' work, develop new ideas and find new tools to advance their research into how brains work.