September 15, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 16)
Strong Points: Vast collection of publicly available data, nice 3D viewer
Weak Points: Mobile device-optimized site organization can be cumbersome
The Allen Institute for Cell Science was launched in 2014, and the recently launched Allen Cell Explorer is an impressive inaugural project for the Institute. The Allen Cell Explorer—described on the site as “your portal to the cell”—provides site visitors access to the complete, publicly available imaging and modeling datasets that probe the cellular diversity of human stem cells. Using the in-browser 3D image viewer, visitors can explore each of the over 6,000 gene-edited human iPSCs included in the dataset, easily rotating the image stacks and toggling the display of various tagged proteins within the cell. The “analyses” section of the site lets users peruse the variation that is present from cell to cell, such as in the shapes and positions of the organelles, or in the size and shape of the cells themselves. Finally, users can view the results of models generated from the data that predict the cellular organization of human stem cells.