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Want Einstein’s brain in your hand? There’s an app for that

This digitized image made from a screen shot of a new iPad app, provided on Sept. 24, 2012, by the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago, shows an image of brain tissue from renowned theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. The new application will allow users to see Einstein's brain as if they were looking through a microscope.


Researchers who always marveled at what Albert Einstein was able to do with his brain can now have their own look under the hood: A new iPad application shows slides of his fabled gray matter.

Einstein's brain was removed for study after his death of an aneurysm in 1955 by the pathologist who performed the autopsy on the famed physicist at a Princeton, New Jersey hospital.

The pathologist, Dr. Thomas Harvey, segmented Einstein's brain into about 170 parts, roughly grouped by the lobes and brainstem. He then sectioned those parts into hundreds of microscope sections.

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The sections were mounted on microscope slides and stained to highlight cellular structure and nerve conductive tissue.

Dr. Harvey's estate donated the collection to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in 2010.

In the spring of 2012, the National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago (NMHMChicago) obtained private funding to begin digitizing the collection.

Now, the slides that have been digitized so far are available on the new app. Sales of the app benefit Department of Defense's National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, as well as the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago.

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