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GAMSAT Essay Examples

GAMSAT Essay Examples

Below we have reproduced one of our GAMSAT essay examples sent to us by a student for marking complete with the markers detailed comments.

100 marked essay examples like this are included in the Griffiths  GAMSAT Review Home Study Course together with our complete blueprint to writing high scoring Gamsat essays.

We include both high scoring and low scoring essays so you can see the characteristics of both.

gamsat technology essay

For more help writing your GAMSAT essays and to get 100 marked examples like the above please check out Griffths GAMSAT Review

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GAMSAT essay tips

How to Write a Creative Essay for GAMSAT Section 2

by Elliot Dolan-Evans , 12 September, 2023 Read 1701 times

It will soon be particularly busy for students hoping to get into medical school in order to prepare for the GAMSAT . But don’t worry - we are here to help! 

Now is the perfect time to begin writing GAMSAT® essays in preparation for what lies ahead. I am strongly encouraging my humanities classes to aim to submit multiple essays from this week right up until the September GAMSAT® Exam.

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The second essay of the GAMSAT® Exam, often referred to as the “reflective” essay, truly should be thought of as the creative essay; hence the quotation marks. Where the initial argumentative essay task should be quite structured and deliberate, the creative essay is much broader in the type of writing permissible. Although this freedom may strike fear into many scientifically-wired students, I want to emphasise that this is a wonderful opportunity to express your creativity in your own way. Many students believe that the “reflective” essay in the GAMSAT® Exam is restricted to a personal reflective account; the great news is that this is not the case.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood. - Tom Robbins

Childhood is not from birth to a certain age, and at a certain age the child is grown and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents. - Sherman Alexie

Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

It is not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six. - John W. Gardner

Similar to the argumentative writing task, you still need to address your creative writing to a theme. For the above quotes, the overall theme is ‘childhood’, then there are multiple sub-themes such as ‘growth’, ‘happiness’, ‘family’, and ‘trauma’ (that I have identified). 

When you craft your creative response, you should be writing within these themes; however, please do not feel you need to repeat any of the stimuli quotes. You do not need to be restricted by these quotes; these are best used as inspiration and to give direction by identifying a theme. 

So, what to write? Here are some bullet point ideas from the provided quotes above: 

Stolen childhood - growing up too early 

How our parents impact who we grow up to be 

Choosing to relive “childhood” as an adult 

A childhood trauma that shapes a secret part of an individual 

Designing a submission that will captivate the reader is very important, and this may be achieved by ensuring your piece is well-written, relatable or even controversial. Crafting a piece of writing with a strong focus on the characters’ emotions is my best advice for this essay, as I feel the GAMSAT® Exam writing task is almost to test your empathy for medical school . An excellent way to do this is through describing the emotions of a character(s) in intricate detail. Below is an excerpt of an example based on the quotes above, for you to ponder:

My father worked in manual labour at the main mining site which resided a couple of kilometres from the beach. My three older brothers were all asked to work at a similar age before me, so I was not surprised to receive the 'call-to-arms'. Upon his request, I smiled and assured him I would walk with him and my brothers every second day to the site, but on the inside, I was filled with rage. Why couldn't he just work as the adult? Why did he have to extinguish our time as kids so early just to make a couple of extra dollars? The frustration, sadness and anger formed a lump in my stomach that made me want to scream at the top of my lungs, but my respect for what had to be done maintained this rage within a fortified cage in my psyche.

And so my days as a boy rolled away like the current on the shore, and I went to work on the mine. Every day as I fell onto the descending pits that we scrapped from, I became more determined to find a way out of this hole. My gangly arms burned as I beat rock with metal, and the beads of sweat mixed into the minerals that covered my face as I pushed through the pain and exhaustion. Although I wished I could be back at the beach, around all my brothers and sisters, I knew I needed to be there for the family. Over time though, the days in the mine became the fire that drove me to find a better life for myself, and without knowing, my own family. Every day I was not at the mine, I went to school and studied my heart out. My worn hands grasping pen and paper, writing formulas or essays, gave me a sense of hope and fulfillment, that I may do more one day for myself.

For more tips on how to prepare for and ace GAMSAT® Section 2, check out our comprehensive guide:  GAMSAT Section 2 Essays: How to Prepare .

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gamsat technology essay

GAMSAT Section 2 Part A Sample

1. ” Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination. ” — Daniel Bell

2. ” Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully. ” — Jon Katz

3. ” Millennials, and the generations that follow, are shaping technology. This generation has grown up with computing in the palm of their hands. They are more socially and globally connected through mobile Internet devices than any prior generation. And they don’t question; they just learn. ” — Brad D. Smith

4. ” Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important. ” — Bill Gates

5. ” Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. ” — Steve Jobs

This expository essay was written by me:

Our ability to harness technology has changed the way we have lived since the existence of our earliest ancestors; and has only developed via increased experience in the ‘know-how’. In earlier times, communities based their technology on immediate survival needs. Stone cutting tools such as cleavers were vital, campfires necessary and shelters created for warmth and to keep out predators.

Our science, in the increased experience of the ‘know-how’ has allowed us to drastically progress as civilisation in the years since, with greater focus placed upon decreasing the intensity of manual labour and acquiring more luxurious comforts. Feeling a little hot? Turn on the air- conditioner. Feeling hungry? Just head down to your local McDonalds. Feeling a little lost in life? Just make sure you keep working and pay your taxes.

Armed with high-tech gadgets, we set about to create larger and brighter cities where each of us trade on an abstract item called ‘money’. Whilst it is a means of providing shelter and protecting us from large predators, technology has changed how we work. Instead of hunting to ensure survival, we now work 60-70 hours per week to facilitate our wants. Food, shelter and warmth are readily available to us, but the latest Ferrari – oh that takes a lot more work. In essence, technology has arranged a life in which our wants are increasingly replacing our needs.

Important needs such as healthy relationships with friends, family and a partner are being slowly eroded with increased use of technology. I’ve fallen victim to the familiar situation of being enchanted by the latest celebrity news on my smartphone screen at the dinner table – the loss of Kim Kardashian’s expensive ring in Bora Bora is, of course, far more important than the conversation about how my brother’s great day was. But as I soon come to realise, time can never be bought, and conversations with my parents and siblings are transient and therefore invaluable.

As with the case of travelling, it is probably much easier to sit in the comfort of my lounge room with the latest episode of David Attenborough’s ‘Meerkats’ on the screen rather than deal with the lost luggage, screaming babies and the unfamiliarity of a different language. Technology has provided the means where our ‘experience’ of life can be arranged with such easy convenience, but is this at the cost of ‘true’ experience which allows for understanding of the rich cultures around us?

Humans are said to have the choice to control our lives, and it’s ironic to think that we have mastered the science of the ‘know-how’ of creating technology which has now come to control us. Perhaps it could explain the rising suicide and depression rates in our nation, where we oft start to make a choice to arrange and control our lives such that we maximise ‘experiencing’ rather than ‘living’.

Questions for you: What are the main ideas presented? What could you do to incorporate your own experiences and personal voice?

Whilst Part A essays can follow a pre-determined structure of three main body paragraphs, they can also be fluid and include your own personal style. Importantly, essays should still incorporate three arguments and each paragraph should have a purpose!

Planning your own essay: What arguments can you present about technology? How has technology affected your way of life (or others) and how could you incorporate this into your writing? This will form your three arguments. Comment them below and let me give you feedback! ⬇️

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

gamsat technology essay

Guides & Info

The Ultimate Guide to GAMSAT Section 2

Please note that GAMSAT ‘Section II: Written Communication’ has been renamed to ‘Written Communication Section’. To ensure this article is easy to follow, we’ll refer to this section as ‘Section 2’ throughout. Read about the latest changes to the GAMSAT .

In our GAMSAT Section 2 guide, we’ll walk you through what to expect in Section 2 and how best to prepare for it. We’ll also go through a free example Section 2 task with expert guidance on how to structure this essay.

Just starting GAMSAT revision? We recommend building your GAMSAT knowledge by going through GAMSAT preparation material, such as:

  • GAMSAT FAQ – view 30+ GAMSAT questions, including which dental/medical schools require the GAMSAT
  • GAMSAT preparation tips – find out how to get the most from your revision
  • GAMSAT preparation mistakes – explore common pitfalls to avoid while preparing
  • GAMSAT timing – learn how to overcome GAMSAT time pressure

Once you’ve finished going through this article, we recommend reading the ultimate guide to GAMSAT Section 3 , to give you a comprehensive overview of the entire GAMSAT exam. If you missed the first article in this series, make sure you check out our ultimate guide to GAMSAT Section 1 too.

Table of contents

Gamsat section 2 structure, what does gamsat section 2 test, how should i approach preparation for gamsat section 2, free example task for gamsat section 2.

GAMSAT section

Number of GAMSAT questions

Section time

Time per question

Written Communication

Approximately 30 minutes

For GAMSAT 2024 testing, Section 2 will now be delivered via remote proctoring and will take place approximately two weeks before Section 1 and 3 (these sections will take place at a test centre as normal). Remote proctoring is a form of online remote test delivery which includes being supervised by a remote proctor via screen sharing and webcam monitoring. Learn more about how remote proctoring will work including top tips for ensuring it goes smoothly.

The purpose of GAMSAT Section 2 is to test your ability to effectively and logically express your thoughts. Essays marked will be judged on quality of thinking and how well you articulate this thinking through written language. In order to do this, you must identify the common theme running through the presented comments, and plan and structure your essay before you begin writing.

This section is split into two writing tasks: Task A and Task B. In each GAMSAT Section 2 task, you will read four or five comments on a common theme and must write an essay that responds to one or more of them.

  • Task A tends to focus on socio-cultural issues, such as law, religion and economic narratives. It’s best suited to an argumentative essay style. 
  • Task B tends to focus more on personal and social issues, such as emotions, feelings and the lived experience. Therefore, a creative or reflective essay could be the best option if you feel comfortable writing in this style.

For those with a pure science background, Section 2 can be the most daunting part of the GAMSAT exam. Not only this, the digital exam format means you’ll need to type out your responses (with no automatic spelling and grammar checks). If this is something you struggle with, we advise improving your typing speed and accuracy before sitting the GAMSAT.

Graphic showing someone typing on their laptop

For GAMSAT Section 2 preparation, we recommend that you break down the steps and timing for each task as follows:

  • Assess the task (2 minutes)
  • Brainstorm your response (4 minutes)
  • Outline your essay (4 minutes)
  • Write your essay (17–18 minutes)
  • Review your essay (2–3 minutes)

As you can see, you should spend just over a third of the time limit planning and reviewing your essay, and allocate the rest to writing time.

According to the ACER GAMSAT Information Booklet , you’ll be assessed on ‘the quality of the thinking about a topic’ and ‘the way in which ideas are integrated into a thoughtful response to the task’. This means you should concentrate more on the depth and organisation of ideas, rather than breadth. A sensible guideline to follow for a non-creative essay is an introduction, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

To perform well in this section, it’s critical that you demonstrate that you have correctly understood the theme, thought through different angles on the issue or topic, and taken a clear stance in relation to it. This can be achieved through analysing the task and brainstorming carefully.

In GAMSAT Section 2 essays, it’s a good idea to write about a few concepts that you understand, and communicate these in a logical and coherent way, rather than to present too many ideas in an unstructured manner. Also, some students can focus too heavily on individual quotes and end up missing the overall theme, or fixate too much on the theme and neglect the variety of opinions on a topic. Success in GAMSAT Section 2 requires a careful balance between the two.

Task A example essay question

Consider the following comments and develop a piece of writing in response to one or more of them.

Your writing will be judged on the quality of your response to the theme, how well you organise and present your point of view, and how effectively you express yourself.

Comment 1 The internet is an elite organisation. Most of the population of the world has never even made a phone call. Noam Chomsky

Comment 2 The internet is forever demanding that the real world be redefined to suit its whims. Terry Pratchett

Comment 3 The Web is a tremendous grassroots revolution. Tim Berners-Lee

Comment 4 The internet’s primary function is to allow people to hear what they want to hear.

Task A example essay guidance

Here’s a step-by-step process of how to approach this task:

Step 1: Assess the task (2 minutes)

1. First, assess the task by reading through all the comments and identifying the overarching theme. In this initial stage, your focus should be on determining which comments you can thoughtfully explore in relation to the theme. This will guide the subsequent decisions you make when planning and writing your essay. As we know that Task A will generally be on a socio-cultural theme, this can help with the first step of identifying the theme in the task. 

Step 2: Brainstorm your response (4 minutes)

2. After identifying the core theme and comments you wish to use, you should think about some pros and cons, as well as your own opinion. In this brainstorming phase, you should reflect on both sides of the topic and note down a few succinct examples for each side. Try to pursue ideas that you find interesting or exciting, as this sense of authenticity can develop your ideas and improve your writing. 

You can use any method to capture your thoughts in response to the task, such as a spider diagram or a table with arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ the statement. By the end of this step, you should have comprehensive notes on many relevant ideas and examples, ready for organising.

Step 3: Outline your essay (4 minutes)

3. Now it’s time to decide how you would like to present all of this thinking to the reader. You should carefully select ideas that will strengthen your essay, and disregard anything that doesn’t contribute to the overall argument. Make sure you decide on your conclusion before organising your chosen ideas into a logical and coherent structure as follows:

  • Introduction: Identify the theme and define the key concepts (use relevant brainstorming notes).
  • Two body paragraphs: Explore one side of the issue in the first paragraph and explore the other side of the issue in the second paragraph. Provide examples in both paragraphs and arrange all your notes on comments, pros and cons, and examples.
  • Conclusion: This is where you should state your own opinion. A strong conclusion accounts for everything that has gone before it (both pros and cons), and makes a logical deduction from that.

Step 4: Write your essay (17–18 minutes)

4. After assessing and planning your essay, it’s time to start writing! 

  • Introduction: The purpose of the introductory paragraph is to provide a clear indication of what’s to come. Identify the core theme, briefly define any key concepts within this theme, and then finish by indicating the other side of the theme.
  • First body paragraph: Present the first side of the argument as clearly and convincingly as you can, and include one or two points with supporting examples which connect to one of the comments.
  • Second body paragraph: Present the other side of the argument as clearly and convincingly as you can, and include one or two points with supporting examples which connect to one of the comments. The key difference between this and the first body paragraph is that you’ll need to show an awareness of the previous paragraph, such as through terminology like ‘however’. 
  • Conclusion: In the final paragraph, you should assert your own opinion – this means you need to pick a side. You could start by directly stating your opinion, and then give reasons as to why you come down on that side. Alternatively, you could briefly summarise both sides, then move swiftly to your opinion. Whatever approach you take, try to end on a strong note to show that you’re in control of the logic presented in the essay.

Note that you can easily adapt this structure to write an essay with a different number of paragraphs. For example, if you want to write one paragraph for all three comments in a task, you would simply plan for three body paragraphs instead of two.

Step 5: Review your essay (2–3 minutes)

5. If you’ve successfully carried out the first four steps, then this step shouldn’t take too long. You can use this time to proofread your essay, which includes checking the grammar, spelling and punctuation. If you have time, you could even add a sentence or two throughout to strengthen the essay if needed. However, by this point, your essay should be close to perfect. This time would be best spent reviewing your work rather than making any major changes.

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If you’re looking for preparation material to boost your GAMSAT score, our GAMSAT Online Course can help. It provides:

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Don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to GAMSAT Section 1 and GAMSAT Section 3 if you haven’t already!

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gamsat technology essay

GAMSAT Essay Examples

GAMSAT Essay Examples

From: Matthew Re: GAMSAT Essay Examples

Below is one of our GAMSAT essay examples. Below is a student’s essay who received an estimated GAMSAT mark of 61/100 for this particular essay.

Before you read over this sample essay, click the yellow button below to download your free series of GAMSAT Practice quotes.

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How to Write Essays for GAMSAT Section 2

For those that are sitting GAMSAT for the first time or with an ESL background, essay-writing is not as hard as it seems. Rather, it is something that can be well thought out and planned ahead of time. To do superbly well (80+), focus should not be placed merely on the depth but also the organisation of your ideas. It doesn’t have to be based off obtuse philosophical ideas, but simple and logical ideas that are insightful and reveals that you understand socio-cultural and personal issues are not just black and white – that is, there are always layers of grey.

ACER specifies that ‘ your writing will be judged on the quality of what you have to say in response to the theme’ . This means that your essay will be marked based on:

  • Thought and content – the quality of what is said
  • Organisation and Expression – quality of structure developed and language used

This post will outline how to tackle the quotes, generate ideas and structure your writing so that you can receive a stellar score! In GAMSAT, time is of the essence and your essays are a way of showing whether you think under pressure and communicate your ideas well.

Analysing Quotes

You will be given with a list of quotes to start (4-5) and asked to produce an essay on one of these quotes – which may be esoteric, abstract or contemporary in nature. The first step is to identify the theme that is present across the quotes and then think of an argument or personal experience you’ve had regarding this. There is no limit on how many quotes you can use but I would advise that you stick to one that you connect with and generate ideas regarding this. Other quotes can be used as idea generators.

Think about:

  • What is being said?
  • Why is it being sad?
  • What does the quote reveal about the role of (theme) within society?

Hang on to the quote you’ve chosen as we’re about to reference it throughout your essay!

Generating Ideas

On the day of the GAMSAT exam, generating ideas for an unseen topic can be nerve-wracking. To overcome this, preparation is key . This means that a few months before the exam, focus on coming up a with a lost of as many socio-cultural and personal topics that can possible be asked in either Part A and B. You want to focus on creating an ‘IDEA BANK’ where you outline topics of interest and write down topic sentences as well as evidence (historical or current affairs) that help to support what you wish to say.

An example is given below. Your GOAL is to create essay structure outlines for all possible topics. Whilst practising essays are still an important part of GAMSAT preparation, it saves you having to write 100 essays for all the possible topics ACER can ask! You will realise that after doing there are many ideas that overlap.

gamsat technology essay

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gamsat technology essay

Structure Overview

Having a structure in your head is one of the most important preparation that you can do before entering the exam. This is the structure I used to formulate my essays:

This is very much a rough guideline and not a fixed rule! They are a myriad of other ways to write a fantastic essay – and many of them have been written as editorial or opinion pieces in newspapers!

Introduction

Don’t   begin with a very general opening statement: “Technology has had many beneficial impacts on our world…” or “The definition of virtue is something that philosophers have debated for centuries…”

Don’t  introduce your argument within a grand historical narrative

Do  outline your argument and what your main thesis will be.

The most important aspect of the GAMSAT introductions is that it should engage and roadmap – i.e. offeran outline or sketch of the essay. Here, it’s important to be specific about the arguments and positions that will be taken. It should also explain to the reader why it is important to care about your argument/issue.

Body Paragraphs

Your arguments take centre stage here. Develop a response to the quote you have selected and make clear what evidence you have to support this. Stronger essays will give a critical appraisal of the issue presented and its implications not only for the individual, but also for society.

Avoid making unsupported assertions – back up your claims with evidence, and connect up your ideas so that they progress logically toward your conclusions. Whilst it is good to consider various objections to the idea you have presented, don’t go too far as to completely obliterate your own arguments.

An example of how an argument was presented and analysed within the context of an example. Note that I did NOT just merely recount.

This is a body paragraph in response to the quote, ‘‘Imagination is one of the most important kinds of thinking” .

“Aside from this, imagination can be utilised to be able to better understand other people and their cultures. From watching the film, Parasite (2019) by Bong Joon-Ho, … The film showcases how there is a clear gap in living between those of different socio-economic groups contrary to the technologically advanced and superior façade that Korea depicts. In following the journey of the Kin clan, we see how their greed for money coupled with the arrogance of Park family ultimately leads to both their demise. It reveals not only the disproportionate living conditions of the poor and rich but also provides a commentary on the illusion of privilege. We are far often too caught up in our own world and our desire for progress to realise how our actions might affect others or that we have the power to change someone’s life – the Park family have the privilege to pay the Kin family and the Kin family in having a relatively normal family yet they do not realise this. This ultimately highlights how books, films and even music can be utilised as a means to educate and expose, to the broader society, about topics and ideas that they may not realise or understand in a way that is also entertaining.”

Click here to buy sample 80+ Part A and B essays

Don’t feel as though you must summarise all of your results. You only have 30 minutes to complete one essay and this would be a waste of your time.

Don’t  end with a hedged claim like “Though technology has had many beneficial effects on our society, its ill-effects still remain largely overwhelming”

Do  find some nice way of wrapping up your essay.  It is unlikely you have addressed every facet of this issue, and your conclusion can set out problems that still remain. You might provide a potential solution, criticism or recommendation for the short, or long term future.

Once you have a draft

The principal virtue in GAMSAT essay writing is clarity.  As you reread each sentence and paragraph of your draft, ask yourself: “Is this point expressed clearly?”  Your essay should be simple and direct.

Organisation – Look for opportunities to improve your paper, considering whether you could add an example in some areas or rewrite an awkward sentence.

Proofread – spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can distract and diver the marker from your argument.

Ultimately, the distinguishing factor between an excellent and merely decent essay is the depth and quality of one’s explanations.  The decent paper may not make any obvious mistakes; it often just does not provide a unique insight or communicate its message as clearly and effectively as the excellent essay does.  Always try to find ways of strengthening your explanations and providing examples to support your thoughts.

Section 2 Score & Final Remarks

Remember that greater effort  ≠ grades.

Focus on the right things, work hard(er) according to your own abilities and let’s get a great GAMSAT essay score!

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Google helped make an exquisitely detailed map of a tiny piece of the human brain

A small brain sample was sliced into 5,000 pieces, and machine learning helped stitch it back together.

  • Cassandra Willyard archive page

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A team led by scientists from Harvard and Google has created a 3D, nanoscale-resolution map of a single cubic millimeter of the human brain. Although the map covers just a fraction of the organ—a whole brain is a million times larger—that piece contains roughly 57,000 cells, about 230 millimeters of blood vessels, and nearly 150 million synapses. It is currently the highest-resolution picture of the human brain ever created.

To make a map this finely detailed, the team had to cut the tissue sample into 5,000 slices and scan them with a high-speed electron microscope. Then they used a machine-learning model to help electronically stitch the slices back together and label the features. The raw data set alone took up 1.4 petabytes. “It’s probably the most computer-intensive work in all of neuroscience,” says Michael Hawrylycz, a computational neuroscientist at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, who was not involved in the research. “There is a Herculean amount of work involved.”

Many other brain atlases exist, but most provide much lower-resolution data. At the nanoscale, researchers can trace the brain’s wiring one neuron at a time to the synapses, the places where they connect. “To really understand how the human brain works, how it processes information, how it stores memories, we will ultimately need a map that’s at that resolution,” says Viren Jain, a senior research scientist at Google and coauthor on the paper, published in Science on May 9 . The data set itself and a preprint version of this paper were released in 2021 .

Brain atlases come in many forms. Some reveal how the cells are organized. Others cover gene expression. This one focuses on connections between cells, a field called “connectomics.” The outermost layer of the brain contains roughly 16 billion neurons that link up with each other to form trillions of connections. A single neuron might receive information from hundreds or even thousands of other neurons and send information to a similar number. That makes tracing these connections an exceedingly complex task, even in just a small piece of the brain..  

To create this map, the team faced a number of hurdles. The first problem was finding a sample of brain tissue. The brain deteriorates quickly after death, so cadaver tissue doesn’t work. Instead, the team used a piece of tissue removed from a woman with epilepsy during brain surgery that was meant to help control her seizures.

Once the researchers had the sample, they had to carefully preserve it in resin so that it could be cut into slices, each about a thousandth the thickness of a human hair. Then they imaged the sections using a high-speed electron microscope designed specifically for this project. 

Next came the computational challenge. “You have all of these wires traversing everywhere in three dimensions, making all kinds of different connections,” Jain says. The team at Google used a machine-learning model to stitch the slices back together, align each one with the next, color-code the wiring, and find the connections. This is harder than it might seem. “If you make a single mistake, then all of the connections attached to that wire are now incorrect,” Jain says. 

“The ability to get this deep a reconstruction of any human brain sample is an important advance,” says Seth Ament, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland. The map is “the closest to the  ground truth that we can get right now.” But he also cautions that it’s a single brain specimen taken from a single individual. 

The map, which is freely available at a web platform called Neuroglancer , is meant to be a resource other researchers can use to make their own discoveries. “Now anybody who’s interested in studying the human cortex in this level of detail can go into the data themselves. They can proofread certain structures to make sure everything is correct, and then publish their own findings,” Jain says. (The preprint has already been cited at least 136 times .) 

The team has already identified some surprises. For example, some of the long tendrils that carry signals from one neuron to the next formed “whorls,” spots where they twirled around themselves. Axons typically form a single synapse to transmit information to the next cell. The team identified single axons that formed repeated connections—in some cases, 50 separate synapses. Why that might be isn’t yet clear, but the strong bonds could help facilitate very quick or strong reactions to certain stimuli, Jain says. “It’s a very simple finding about the organization of the human cortex,” he says. But “we didn’t know this before because we didn’t have maps at this resolution.”

The data set was full of surprises, says Jeff Lichtman, a neuroscientist at Harvard University who helped lead the research. “There were just so many things in it that were incompatible with what you would read in a textbook.” The researchers may not have explanations for what they’re seeing, but they have plenty of new questions: “That’s the way science moves forward.” 

Biotechnology and health

How scientists traced a mysterious covid case back to six toilets.

When wastewater surveillance turns into a hunt for a single infected individual, the ethics get tricky.

An AI-driven “factory of drugs” claims to have hit a big milestone

Insilico is part of a wave of companies betting on AI as the "next amazing revolution" in biology

  • Antonio Regalado archive page

The quest to legitimize longevity medicine

Longevity clinics offer a mix of services that largely cater to the wealthy. Now there’s a push to establish their work as a credible medical field.

  • Jessica Hamzelou archive page

There is a new most expensive drug in the world. Price tag: $4.25 million

But will the latest gene therapy suffer the curse of the costliest drug?

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  1. section 2 tech essay : r/GAMSAT

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    Breaking Down GAMSAT Essay Questions. by Daniel Watson, 01 November, 2023. Read 780 times. Section 2 of the GAMSAT® can be particularly challenging for students. Its short length and seemingly limitless scope mean that it is difficult to prepare for. Some students prefer to craft creative writing pieces, or make a point of writing different ...

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  22. S2 Essay Help : r/GAMSAT

    When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw. Nelson Mandela. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Nelson Mandela. For most of us, freedom is a life without chains and bars.