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Free Online Library of Cell Images Wins 'The Labby'

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- An online library of cellular images freely available to biomedical researchers, educators, and the general public celebrated its one-year anniversary on August 9, 2011 by winning The Scientist's Readers' Choice Award for favorite website. The Scientist announced the readers' choice multimedia winners today, along with the top picks from the judges. The Cell has more than 3,000 searchable images posted. It has attracted 65,000 visits from 157 countries. Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), "The Cell: An Image Library" was created by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) in collaboration with Glencoe Software and the Open Microscopy Environment (OME).

The ASCB was awarded a $2.5 million stimulus grant in 2009 through NIH's Grand Opportunities program to build a novel multi-dimensional image library of scientific images of cells and their constituents and processes. This online resource of digital images was first made publicly available on August 9, 2010, and is freely available to multiple end users -- researchers, clinicians, educators, students, and the public -- internationally. The library is available at and currently houses over 3,250 searchable images and over 4,750 total images. Submission of images to The Cell is open to the community, and the collection is growing rapidly.  

During its first year The Cell had over 44,000 visitors. They accessed over 292,000 page views.

The Cell library is an easily accessible public resource database of images, videos, and animations of cells from a variety of organisms. The purpose of this database is: (1) to advance research on cellular activity with the ultimate goal of improving human health; and (2) to provide a public educational resource that contributes to the understanding of the wonders of the biology of living organisms.

As The Cell library evolves: (1) historically important archives of cellular microscopy image data are being uploaded; (2) dormant, off-line image data are being made available for review and re-discovery with modern microscopy analysis techniques; (3) a common image file format for biological research, OME-TIFF, is being further utilized; and (4) the foundation is being built for a systematic protocol for image uploading, evaluation, and metadata-annotation.

Investigators from around the world have contributed image data-single frames, multi-dimensional stacks, and time-lapse videos. The Cell library is at

Sample images:

Image CIL:7439 from The Cell: An Image Library:

Image CIL:214 from The Cell: An Image Library:

For more information, contact:

David Orloff
Manager, Image Library, The Cell
The American Society for Cell Biology
+1 301 347 9305

This press release was issued through eReleases(R).  For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at

SOURCE The American Society for Cell Biology
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