The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the launch of the Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website combines large-scale 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, gene edited human stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer will be the platform for these and future publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen Institute for Cell Science.
With the launch of the Allen Cell Explorer, scientists around the world will gain an unprecedented view into the organizational diversity of human stem cells, ultimately enabling them to better understand what makes human cells healthy and what goes wrong in disease.
“Cells are incredibly complex, with thousands of moving and interacting parts that work together to drive and regulate both cell architecture and behavior,” says Rick Horwitz, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Allen Institute for Cell Science. “We are beyond excited to launch the Allen Cell Explorer website and to share our cells, incredible image data, predictive models and more with the global scientific community.”
Featured in the Allen Cell Explorer are several new resources. The Integrated Cell Model is the first model to use “deep learning” approaches to predict the organization of human stem cells. Trained on thousands of images of cells, this tool makes predictions about the locations of cellular components based on the location of just a couple of landmark structures.
An additional tool on the portal, the 3D Cell Viewer, provides online access to the largest publicly available collection of human stem cells visualized in three dimensions. Users can view and manipulate thousands of gene edited cells and explore the astonishing variability of their intracellular organization—even among cells that are clones of one another—directly in a web browser, or by downloading data to their desktop.
“Taken as a whole, this publicly available portal will enable researchers to ask important new questions about the variability of cells, and how they change as they grow, differentiate and respond to drugs,” says Horwitz. “Working as a community, we can apply and expand on these tools to make leaps forward in the field of cell biology and have great impact on our study of human health and disease.”