A collection of scientists from all over the world claim to have created a digital duplicate of a rat's brain, according to the Washington Post.
The Blue Brain Project, a group of researchers from the U.S., U.K. Spain, China, Hungary, Israel and Sweden, has been working to construct the rat brain for years and hopes to eventually work toward building a human brain.
The group believes that understanding the brain is essential to learning more about human beings, which can help to prevent illnesses of the brain, among other things.
"Understanding the brain is vital, not just to understand the biological mechanisms which give us our thoughts and emotions and which make us human, but for practical reasons," said the project's website. "More important still, understanding the brain is essential to understanding, diagnosing and treating brain diseases that are imposing a rapidly increasing burden on the world's aging populations."
The group's reconstruction involved working with 30,000 neurons and nearly 40 million synapses, according to Breitbart.
Not everyone is not on board with the project, however, citing that the development could cause Europe more than $100 million in just one decade. In an open letter, hundreds of scientists said that the project was "overly narrow" and that it would set Europe back in terms of scientific progress.
"It's like a moonshot, but before we knew how to build an airplane," said one neuroscientist, according to The New York Times.
Even Henry Markram of the Human Brain Project, which helps fund the Blue Brain Project, stated how difficult it would be to reconstruct the 85 million neurons of the human brain.