August 1, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 14)
Strong Points: Text descriptions accompany images
Weak Points: No citations/image sources given
It’s our largest organ, but most people don’t necessarily think about it in those terms. That’s right, I’m talking about skin. Just like any of our other organs, skin is susceptible to a number of pathologies and therefore constitutes an active area of research. Skinbase is an online database of histology images depicting skin and hair from various mutant mouse models (the mouse being the primary research model organism to study human pathologies of the skin and hair). Images on the site are indexed according to the common name of the mouse allele, such as “crinkled” or “flaky skin.” Selecting one of these alleles takes users to a page with multiple histology images from that genetic background, with a short legend accompanying each image. It is not made clear if the images come from previously published work; if so, the relevant citations are omitted. The database is somewhat small, but still likely a useful resource for researchers in the field.