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Data Release from Allen Institute for Brain Science Expands Online Public Resources

October 4, 2012 | Download PDF

The Allen Institute for Brain Science has released additional data and features that will expand the utility of the Allen Brain Atlas family of resources. The Allen Brain Atlas data portal 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, four atlas resources—the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas, Allen Human Brain Atlas, the BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain and the NIH Blueprint Non-Human Primate Atlas—have been expanded with new data and additional features. The Allen Brain Atlas application programming interface (API) has also been enhanced to include additional resources to enable further innovation by the user community.

The Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas now allows users to visualize neural projections in 3-D, supported by the Brain Explorer® 3-D viewer, which is also integrated with other Allen Brain Atlas resources. The connectivity atlas was also updated with additional search options to find and explore data more easily.

The Allen Human Brain Atlas has been expanded to include microarray-based gene expression data from a fourth human brain. Additionally, a new neurotransmitter study has been added, providing high-resolution in situ hybridization image data detailing the expression patterns of 176 neurotransmitter system genes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of four brains. Other major cortical and subcortical areas will be added to this dataset in 2013.

The BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain now includes additional gene expression data and two full-color, high-resolution digital anatomic reference atlases with associated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology data. The user interface was also updated with enhanced interactive atlas navigation and search features.

The NIH Blueprint Non-Human Primate Atlas now contains additional microarray data, as well as new anatomic reference data including both high-resolution histology and associated MRI data. The user interface has also been enhanced to provide easier comparative analyses between in situ hybridization image data and related anatomic data.

The Allen Institute has also enhanced the Allen Brain Atlas application programming interface (API) with additional user support materials including presentations, projects, and resources from the 2012 Allen Brain Atlas Hackathon. The API provides the programming community with under-the-hood access to the Allen Institute's vast datasets and tools, sample applications and programming solutions for data searches and download, as well as opportunities for discovery and creation of new applications and tools for visualizing and mining the data.

About the Atlases

The Allen Brain Atlas resources, created by the Allen Institute for Brain Science as open online public resources, integrate large-scale, systematically generated gene expression and anatomic datasets, complete with powerful search and viewing tools. Each month, the Allen Brain Atlas resources receive approximately 50,000 visits from researchers worldwide. Regular updates and data releases put an increasing amount of valuable data and powerful search and viewing tools in the hands of scientists and research organizations everywhere, thereby accelerating understanding of the brain and related disorders and diseases. The Allen Institute's next public data release is scheduled for March 2013.

The BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain is supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health to the Allen Institute for Brain Science (award number RC2MH089921), the University of Southern California (award number RC2MH090047), and Yale University (award number RC2MH089929), totaling $16.2M, $8.9M and $9.9M, respectively. This project is funded with 100% federal funds. No non-government funds support the project. The content is solely the responsibility of the respective authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.

The NIH Blueprint Non-Human Primate (NHP) Atlas, http://www.blueprintnhpatlas.org, is funded by NIH Contract HHSN-271-2008-0047 to the Allen Institute for Brain Science (Seattle, WA) totaling $8.5M. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. This project is funded with 100% federal funds. No non-government funds support the project.

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