September 1, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 15)
Strong Points: High-quality, interactive images, clear organization
Weak Points: None
Let’s be honest—who hasn’t wondered what the embryonic development of a sea squirt looks like? Well, keep yourself in suspense no longer. Simply head on over to FABA, the Four-Dimensional Ascidian Body Atlas. (“Ascidians” consist of sea squirts and tunicates.) FABA showcases 3-D images of the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis over developmental time (hence the “four dimensions”) from egg to larva. The images are of high quality, and even the slide show on the opening page is enough to keep you on the website for a while. Additional features of the database include fully interactive 3-D images, a table of cell lineages, and a collection of time-lapsed photos. Once you’re done marveling at early Ciona intestinalis development, check out the partner site, FABA2, which documents development after the larva hatches.