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Allen Institute to Develop Three New Brain and Spinal Cord Gene Expression Atlases

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science is launching three major research projects on the brain and spinal cord, the center announced today.
The non-profit medical research center plans to develop three web-based atlases providing gene expression data for the human brain, developing mouse brain, and mouse spinal cord. The so-called “Allen Brain Atlases” are intended to inform studies of brain development, spinal cord injuries, and various injuries and disorders, and will contain information about anatomical gene expression. The atlases will be publicly available for free online once completed, the Institute said.
The institute plans to complete ABA-Spinal Cord within one year, while the developing mouse brain and human brain atlases are expected to be completed in two years and four years, respectively. The project is reportedly funded by several diverse sources.
The Allen Institute launched the first Allen Brain Atlas, the ABA-Mouse Brain, in 2006. Also an open access, web-based resource, that atlas contains a genome-wide map of gene expression in the mouse brain as well as information about gene expression in a three-dimensional anatomical map.
 “We believe that free access to our unique resources is the best way to encourage widespread use and collaboration, which ultimately could expedite progress toward life-changing medical breakthroughs,” Allen Institute Chief Operating Officer Elaine Jones said in a statement.

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