Scientists Find 97 Never-Before-Seen Regions of the Brain

In this age of hoverboards and 3-D-printed food, you might think scientists would have no trouble understanding our internal organs. In fact, our bodies are so complicated that even mapping the topography of the human brain has been quite a challenge. Now, at least, we’re one step closer, as researchers have created the most comprehensive brain map yet. They published their findings in the journal Nature.

Part of the difficulty of mapping the brain lies in its astonishing complexity and sophistication. In order to understand the brain as a whole, scientists need to consider different types of measurements at once. Yet, until now, most brain maps have only considered one element (like cell density or changes in blood flow) at a time. A new paradigm was in order, and so an international team of neuroscientists set out to create one.

They started by pulling brain scan data on 210 healthy young participants in the Human Connectome Project, or HCP. The government-funded HCP is a five-year project that aims to advance scientific understanding of our connectome—the links and pathways inside our brains. Each participant’s file included measurements of the thickness of their cortex; brain function; connections between brain regions; the landscape and orientation of brain cells; and levels of an essential fatty compound called myelin.

By overlaying all of these measurements and looking for patterns, the researchers were able to build a richly detailed diagram of the brain’s many sections. In addition to correctly locating 83 already known regions, the new map also identified another 97 that had never before been spotted. The team then tested out the new technique on the brain scans of another 210 participants to ensure the map was accurate. They found that, like the human body as a whole, there was substantial variation in the size of different parts, but the overall layout was consistent.

The researchers are quite pleased with their findings, but are hardly going to sit back and put their feet up, said lead author Mathew Glasser of Washington University Medical School.

“We’re thinking of this as version 1.0,” Glasser told Nature. “That doesn’t mean it’s the final version, but it’s a far better map than the ones we’ve had before.”

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Afternoon Map
The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit

Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

[h/t Thrillist]


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