Brainspan screenshot

Rating: Excellent

Strong Points: Well organized, several different varieties of data available to browse through

Weak Points: None

The Allen Brain Atlas is a fundamental resource for neuroscientists using the mouse as their model system. Brainspan, another initiative supported by the Allen Institute, takes the format of their mouse brain atlas and uses it to catalog the developing human brain. Through the Brainspan website, users can access an enormous amount of data, including a reference atlas, in situ hybridization images, and a developmental transcriptome. There are several reference atlases available, which include sections from different stages of a developing brain and from an adult brain, for comparison. The developmental transcriptome allows users to search for a gene of interest and browse through heat maps that display the RNA-sequencing data. Users can also examine in situ images based on a wide variety of genes. Brainspan is an excellent website for developmental neurobiologists who are examining human neuroanatomy, and the website’s organization and easy navigability make it a great resource.


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