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Public data release from Allen Institute for Brain Science enhances Allen Brain Atlas resources

As suite of online public resources continues to expand, Allen Institute revamps data portal to make finding, accessing and using data easier

June 16, 2011 | Download PDF

The Allen Institute for Brain Science announced today its latest public data release, which includes feature enhancements to the Allen Brain Atlas data portal and three of its online resources that provide rich data to scientists worldwide: the Allen Human Brain Atlas, the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, and the BrainSpan atlas of the developing human brain.

With this data release the Allen Institute revamped the Allen Brain Atlas portal, making it easier for researchers to find and use the information they need amid the growing suite of online data and tools. The portal makeover includes a centralized search across all datasets and a tutorial library of videos demonstrating how to use the various Allen Brain Atlas resources. With all the resources now incorporated into one search feature, it is easier than ever for scientists to find, access, and explore gene expression data across species, sex, and age ranges.

The Allen Human Brain Atlas is a multi-modal, three-dimensional map of the human brain that integrates anatomical and gene expression data throughout the adult human brain. While the previous data release expanded the microarray data to coverage of two entire human brains, the update announced today adds additional search options for the in situ hybridization (ISH) data, allowing more flexibility in searching within specific ISH studies included in the Atlas.

The Allen Mouse Brain Atlas is a genome-wide, three-dimensional map of gene expression throughout the adult mouse brain. The Atlas has been enhanced with new visualization features such as the ability to view and compare any number of user-specified ISH image series with each other or with the integrated Allen Reference Atlas, as well as zoom and location synchronization between image series.

The BrainSpan atlas of the developing human brain provides broad and detailed anatomical analysis of gene expression across human brain development. The data release today adds new transcriptome and ISH data, as well as two new search and visualization features: temporal search allowing search and comparison of gene expression at specific developmental stages, and an interactive composite gene model allowing users to visualize exons and probe sets within the context of a gene, thus facilitating comparison of RNA-Seq and exon array data.

The Allen Institute for Brain Science provides a variety of online public resources integrating extensive gene expression data and neuroanatomy, complete with powerful search and viewing tools – all openly accessible via the Allen Brain Atlas data portal. Each month, the Allen Brain Atlas resources receive approximately 20,000 visits from researchers worldwide. They provide a unique source of systematic, comprehensive data to accelerate our understanding of the brain and related disorders and diseases. 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. The Allen Institute's next public data release is scheduled for November 2011.

Created by a research consortium and made publicly available online via the Allen Brain Atlas data portal, the BrainSpan atlas of the developing human brain is supported by Award Numbers RC2MH089921 (Allen Institute for Brain Science), RC2MH090047 (University of Southern California) and RC2MH089929 (Yale University), totaling $16.2M, $8.9M and $9.9M, respectively, from the National Institute of Mental Health. 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.