The object of this research is to expand upon the progress made in Phase l to create a set of prototype computer tools and services for scientists in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and in academia, to use for the assessment and analysis of normal and abnormal mouse embryonic development. These tools will take the form of Internet-accessible two and three-dimensional computer-based color atlases of normal mouse development, ages d6-18; associated researcher tools, such as an online dictionary of mouse development and a context-sensitive transparent """"""""doorway"""""""" into the Medline database; a morphological map of gene expression; as well as a consulting service for expert assessment of individual cases. The products of this project will expedite research and advance knowledge in many fields, especially in the fields of molecular biology, genetic engineering, developmental biology and teratology. This system will provide widespread access to its resources by using the World Wide Web for its underlying architecture. We will expand upon our already-proven interactive-remote-visualization (IRV) server technology to develop a highly-scalable model of a dedicated Internet visualization server which will provide interactive control of real-time visualizations from the Muritech database. These will be embedded within World Wide Web multimedia documents using our proprietary Mosaic-OLE technology. We will create an object-oriented knowledge base of embryonic anatomy, with voxel- level object indexing and semantic representations of anatomical hierarchies and relationships. We will expand the semantic tree to include relevant functional and genetic information, and will use this as a basis for facilitated navigation among the various databases of the Muritech system. Gateways will be included to external databases, such as the Visible Embryo Project and the Mouse Genome Project. We will use the database and software tools that we develop to formulate commercial prototypes of a set of tools and services including, in part, an online database and knowledge base, an online consulting service a microcomputer-based CD ROM atlas. Later phases of this project will establish the full, Internet-accessible, mouse development database, and also establish a consulting service for the assessment of mouse dysmorphologies.

Proposed Commercial Applications

The overall aim of this endeavor (Phase I, Phase II and beyond) is to develop products that will provide to the biomedical researcher and to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry a means of analyzing and assessing developmental defects in the mouse. The tools and commercial services that we will produce include: 1) an online database and set of visualization tools for client researchers using the World Wide Web and mosaic on the Internet, 2) a microcomputer-based 2- & 3-D CD ROM atlas and knowledge base of normal mouse development and 3) an online consulting service providing case-by-case assessments of morphological defects.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG7-SSS-9 (14))
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