Biomedical atlas systems are playing an increasingly important role in the collection, management and analysis of spatio-temporal life science and medical data. Such atlases exist now for mouse, human, chick, fly and other organisms, and the ELIXIR-UK Biomedical Atlas Centre (TBAC) will bring these resources together to take advantage of, and contribute to the ELIXIR framework.
TBAC will include atlases for mouse embryo (emouseatlas.org), human embryo (hudsen.org), chick (echickatlas.org), pig (www.macrophages.com/pig-atlas) and sheep. These databases deliver data and services in their own right with wide usage and access and the objective of TBAC is to integrate and streamline these atlases within the ELIXIR data and analysis “eco-system”. This will provide opportunities for data-sharing, analysis and data-mining not hitherto possible by providing the atlas-layer “bridge” identified as a key component to integrate spatial and genomic data.
The atlases provide a spatio-temporal framework capturing knowledge of embryo development, staging and anatomy as well as a significant volume of curated gene-expression and related data (~40K individual assays) made available via web-based query and browse interfaces with sophisticated spatial query and 3D visualisation. As well as in situ image data the expression atlases include sets of sample-based RNA-Seq transcriptome data across multiple tissues.