IMAGES: Mouse Views

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Science  20 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5516, pp. 403
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5516.403a

Two digital atlases offer stunning views of how a mouse embryo develops. A new site at Caltech provides labeled brain slices and rotating, 3D color computer models of the anatomy of a 13.5-day-old embryo. The researchers used microscopic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which allowed them to image an intact specimen without damaging the tissue. The site also has raw MRI movies that let you flip through slices of embryos at different developmental stages.

The second atlas, from the Medical Research Council's Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, U.K., includes high-resolution, annotated images of histologic sections of a developing embryo from 5.5 to 9 days after conception. The site also links to a gene expression data bank: Click on the spinal cord, for example, to get a list of genes expressed in that tissue. Like their subject, the atlases are still growing, and both groups say more is coming soon.

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