Funding Agency

1999 -

Mark Pullen
Reagan Moore
Sheau Yen Chen

More Info
Visible Embryo

Visible Embryo Slides
National Museum of Health & Medicine

About the Visible Embryo Project
Officially titled "Human Embryology Digital Library and Collaboratory Support Tools," this project is part of the Next Generation Internet Initiative and is funded by the National Library of Medicine, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The project's purpose is to demonstrate how leading-edge information technologies in computation, visualization, collaboration, and networking can expand capabilities in science and medicine for developmental studies, clinical work and teaching. It also shows how old collections are being made useful with modern technology. Data for the project comes from the Carnegie Human Embryology Collection at the National Museum of Health and Medicine of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC. The project will draw from carefully prepared serially-sectioned specimens acquired between the 1890s and the 1930s.
Role of Storage Resource Broker in Visible Embryo
Collected data is stored initially as a lossless TIFF image. Metadata such as session information, information about the lens and filters, regions of interest and XY coordinates necessary for reconstruction of tiled images is transferred via software generated XML documents. Imagewhere watchdogs, internal scripts that monitor specified directories for new files, move images from capture stations to a UNIX based RAID large enough to hold 3 days of capture information, ~200 GB. Using conversion tools resident on the UNIX machine, smaller lossey JPEG sets are created of the 2X maps for use in regular net viewing tools. Imagewhere archives a set of metadata, which stays resident on a local server, as well as a set of the smaller lossy images. This provides search and visualization capability for users via html. Images and metadata are grabbed by other archiving watchdogs that automatically push images and metadata to the San Diego Super Computing (SDSC) facility using SRB.
Project Status & Milestones
  • Continue support of the Visible Embryo digital library and image archive
  • Provide a capability for displaying the 3D fly-through that was created of Embryo 836.
  • Continue investigation of mechanisms to visualize the 3D data, based upon software developed at SDSC through synergistic projects.
  • Continue refinement of the collection management software, the mySRB interface to the Visible Embryo collection. This interface will support extensions to the digital library schema, to support annotations generated within the project.