Sharing MRI data with colleagues can be a time-consuming exercise. The files are often large and data-sets need to be viewable in a flexible fashion. Rich features assist the communication of results, including: 3D viewing flexible slicing overlay of specific volumes While there are many software packages for running on the desktop, there’s nothing better than being able to point to a simple HTML link and open the scan data in a prepared format.

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If you’ve ever noticed the 3D images of brain structures on Wikipedia, you may have been curious where they are sourced from. It turns out that they are generated from a freely accessible Japanese database, the Life Sciences Database Archive. This database is licensed under Creative Commons. It includes anatomical models that can be downloaded as well as other public databases including gene expression databases. The anatomical models can be downloaded and browsed online at the Body Parts 3D site.

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Publishing fMRI results usually involves the presentation of slice images that show regions of increased BOLD (Blood Oxygen Dependent Signal). However, fMRI data is inherently three dimensional and often it is difficult to visualise or appropriately present data in 2D formats. Therefore, it can be useful to implement a method for displaying graphics in 3D form. Luckily, there are some good javascript libraries that interact with the HTML5 canvas attribute to present 3D objects.

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Francesco Giorlando

Musings on Research, Tech and Medicine
Dr Giorlando is a clinician-scientist with interests in neuroscience, psychophysics, addiction and temporal perception. He implements high-performance computing and electronic systems for research and enjoys hacking with digital media and sustainable technologies.

Scientist and Clinician

Melbourne, Australia