April 15, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 8)


Strong Points: 3D visualizations, large collection of images
Weak Points: Movies didn’t load


One of the great advantages of Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism in biology is the exquisite genetic control over defined cell types (or even single cells). The FlyCircuit database is an online repository of 3D reconstructions of single neurons in the Drosophila brain. The website accompanies a 2011 scientific article published by the researchers at the National Chiao Tung University and the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. The website gallery contains over 25,000 photos of cells as well as a small number of videos (though I was unable to load the videos on the site). All of the 3D visualizations require JAVA, and the images load quickly. Users can browse the cell types included in the database or search the database by using either the text search tool or the image search tool. (For the image search, users can restrict their query to specific neuropil areas of the brain.)

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