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Allen Institute for Brain Science Releases New Data, Adds to Collection of Open Online Resources

March 7, 2013 | Download PDF

The Allen Institute for Brain Science made public a data release today that expands the utility of three online resources that advance global progress in neuroscience. The resources are hosted by the Allen Brain Atlas data portal, which offers the global research community a unique collection of high-quality neuroscience datasets and is publicly available at www.brain-map.org.

With this data release, three atlas resources—the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas, Allen Human Brain Atlas, and the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas—have been expanded with new data and additional features.

The Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas now offers a visually stimulating interface to search and browse neural projections throughout the mouse brain. An interactive display includes detailed anatomy and a graphical summary of corresponding projection signals, allowing scientists for the first time to explore individual neural connections in the mouse brain for free in a virtual environment. These data offer scientists a unique look at the microarchitecture of the mammalian brain, and comprise a critical resource for understanding how each of over a hundred million neurons is interconnected. The Atlas will help scientists identify the neural circuits governing behavior and other brain functions, examine how such circuits are formed in development, and advance understanding of a variety of disorders and diseases involving the brain.

Another resource, the Allen Human Brain Atlas has been expanded to include microarray-based gene expression data from a total of six human brains. From its launch in May, 2010 the Allen Human Brain Atlas has been expanded regularly to include a greater depth and breadth of gene expression throughout the entire human brain. The data release announced today includes an additional collaborative effort among informatics and anatomy experts, resulting in reformatted datasets that reveal biological signal and reduce effects of technical bias better than ever. The Allen Human Brain Atlas provides insights that propel researchers to understand and discover new treatments for a variety of brain diseases and disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and traumatic brain injury.

The Allen Mouse Brain Atlas and the Allen Human Brain Atlas now also feature a cross-species search function from which researchers can easily compare anatomical gene expression between human and mouse.

The Allen Institute's next public data release is scheduled for June 2013.

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