March 15, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 6)
Strong Points: Easy to browse or search database
Weak Points: Scope limited primarily to the nervous system
I feel that this database has a rather unfortunate name, as it fails to convey the incredible beauty of its contents. The Cell Centered Database (CCDB) is, in its essence, an exhibition of the power of light and electron microscopy, including correlated imaging. Operated out of the University of California, San Diego, the CCDB was originally affiliated with the Human Brain Project. Therefore, a large number of the specimens included in the database are related to the nervous system. So what exactly will you find in the database? You’ll encounter a large number of images, 3-D reconstruction animations, and videos of various cell types and tissue structures. One can either search the database or browse its over 400 entries. Data is freely downloadable—one need only create a login name and password.