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    News 2022-12-22

    EMBL-EBI and Euro-BioImaging support FAIR access to important neuroscience imaging data


    FAIR neuroscience data sharing made possible with the help of transparent Zebrafish embryos, active 'garbage-collector' microglia, incredible light-sheet microscopy, and the BioImage Archive!

    A new paper published by Katrín Möller (post-doc at the Biomedical Center of the University of Iceland) and co-authors is exciting news for both the neuroscience and FAIR data communities for several reasons.

    Scientists know that the cells of multicellular organisms undergo programmed cell death (apopotosis) and that specific phagocytic immune cells are dedicated to removing these dead cells. In the central nervous system, microglia play a highly dynamic role in this “garbage removal” process to maintain neuronal networks in tip-top shape.

    In her work on epigenetics and neuronal development, Katrín used Zebrafish embryos as a model system to study how these microglia behave collectively and what’s happening inside of them. It also allowed her to capture unique views of intracellular components – including rare centrosome movements, which are important for the phagocytic process and could demonstrate shared features of immune cells. The special see-through nature of the embryos made it possible to gain these insights, but also to collect nearly 44 Terabytes of incredible light-sheet microscopy imaging data.

    This is where EOSC-Life partners EMBL-EBI and Euro-BioImaging entered the picture!

    “I was really motivated to share this data,” commented Katrín, who learned from Euro-BioImaging project manager Johanna Bischof about the BioImage Archive life-sciences microscopy data storage and distribution resource. Katrín went on to submit all of the imaging datasets behind the figures in her paper: a total of 700 Gigabytes of data in ~600 files!

    By investing this effort and sharing her data via the BioImage Archive, Katrín is promoting FAIR data sharing and implementing the REMBI (‘recommended metadata for biological images’) metadata guidelines to enable FAIR data.

    You can learn more about the BioImage Archive hosted by EMBL-EBI, which is a free of charge, publicly available online resource which stores and distributes biological images, or this use case here.

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