We are excited to announce the release of a new version of Virtual Fly Brain with some important new functionality.
We have long planned to integrate bulk neuron image data into our site. Thanks to the generosity of the Chiang lab in sharing raw data and a fantastically productive collaboration with Gregory Jefferis, we have integrated queries for over 16000 neuron images from FlyCircuit into VFB. These can be found by querying neuropil regions – with results displayed as clusters of morphologically similar neurons, with links to a 3D representation of the clusters (3D cluster example here). We are also in the process of mapping neuron images and clusters to known, published neuron classes. Please email us if your recognise one!
As part of continuing improvements to our user interface and help system, we’ve added a new homepage. This has an auto-complete search, quick access buttons to tools and sample queries.
As always with most of our updates, we’ve moved to new versions of FlyBase (FB2012_05) and the Drosophila anatomy ontology (http://tinyurl.com/cayer5w), enhancing our content of expression, phenotype and anatomical data.
The more technically minded among you might also be interested to know that we now use the fantastically fast ELK OWL reasoner to drive queries of individual neuron images on our site.
And finally – a teaser for coming updates: We’ve just started work on integrating queries and thumbnail images for over 3000 GAL4 lines from HHMI Janelia Farm. These should be live on VFB by early-mid November. Full-sized images integrated into our stack viewer will follow.
That’s all for now. Please check out the new website, and email us (support at virtualflybrain dot org) if you have any comments or feedback.