IMAGES: Mouse Brain Bank

Science  14 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5477, pp. 211a
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5477.211a

Lost in the maze of a mouse's brain? That's an occupational hazard for neuroscientists peering at slices of brain for signs of drug effects, disease, or how genes shape the normal brain. Making their work a bit easier—and hopefully sparing a few mice lives—is the Mouse Brain Library, an online database of “many, many brains,” says Rob Williams, a neurogeneticist at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. The site serves up brain sections, some detailed enough to reveal individual cells, for 120 mouse strains. (Here is C57BL/6J, the strain being sequenced as part of the Human Genome Project.) Some scientists and students use the images as references for experiments, Williams says, while others may need help figuring out which specks of gray matter are caudate or cortex. Williams and collaborator Glenn Rosen are also working on iScope, a microscope trained on mouse brain slices that anyone can control via the Web.

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