Video Tip of the Week – The Cell: An Image Library

Who says social media is a waste of time? Not me – my LinkedIn updates keep including announcements of the “Image of the week” from The Cell: An Image Library. For my tip this week I decided to follow up on that & check out the images available from this resource, & I’m glad I did. The Cell Image Library is brought to you by the The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), and contains thousands of images, time series and groups of images, videos and animations of cells in a variety of organisms. Images are organized by Cell Process, Cell Component, Cell Type, Organism and Recently added. You can browse images or do a basic search from the homepage, or perform advanced searches. The advanced search form allows users to query with keywords, and for image attributes, specific image licensing categories, biological categories, imaging techniques, or associated anatomy terms.

To quote from their About page, the Cell Image Library:

“This library is a public and easily accessible resource database of images, videos, and animations of cells, capturing a wide diversity of organisms, cell types, and cellular processes. The purpose of this database is to advance research on cellular activity, with the ultimate goal of improving human health.”

And the library doesn’t merely allow you to access images, you can also provide your own images to be featured in the Library, as described in their “contribute” page. You contribute your raw data or minimally processed data images or videos to them and they will  be annotated by professionals with broad disciplinary expertise. Each image receives a CIL, or Cell Image Library accession number, which can be used to reference an image.

In this tip I’ll touch on the features of the image displays, and anything else that I can fit in, but I can guarantee there is more for you to explore on your own. After watching our video tip, I suggest you head over to The Cell: an Image Library & check it out yourself. If you do, be sure to share your insights with the Library’s development team by filling out their user survey. Thanks!

Quick Links:

The Cell: an Image Library  – http://cellimagelibrary.org/

References:

(On the utility of the Cell Image Library for science education) – Miller, K. (2010). Finding the key – cell biology and science education Trends in Cell Biology, 20 (12), 691-694 DOI: 10.1016/j.tcb.2010.08.008