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Open Badges Web report

A pictorial resource for mammalian development

Eliezer Kopf

Genome Biology 2002, 3:reports2012  doi:10.1186/gb-2002-3-4-reports2012

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:1 February 2002
Published:25 March 2002

© 2002 BioMed Central Ltd


The Embryo Images site provides a well-organized collection of scanning electron micrograph images of mouse embryos (with a few images of human embryos) at different stages of development. All images have a brief but clear descriptive caption and some are accompanied by useful interpretative line drawings that clarify the organization of the tissues seen in the scanning electron microscope. The images are grouped into a number of series that follow different aspects of development - body plan, nervous system, musculo-skeletal system, cardiovascular system, eye, ear, urogenital system and digestive and respiratory systems. Most of the images are color-shaded to highlight the relevant structures, and - a neat feature - the color-coding disappears when you place the cursor on the image, so that details of the structure can be clearly seen. Many of the images are close-ups of cut sections. The site has a strong educational impact and should be an extremely useful aid to teaching mouse and human development.


Navigation is quick and easy, unlike some sites containing large numbers of photographic images, which are often slow to download. The first page gives a good explanation of site content and how to move through it. The figures are quickly downloaded, although saving downloaded images will require lots of memory on your computer. It is easy to go backwards and forwards in each series of images and also to return to the main page.

Reporter's comments


This site is still in development and further images will be added.

Best feature

For cut sections, an animated 'knife' on an image of the whole embryo shows where the section has been taken.

Worst feature

The site could do with a search engine and links to other related sites.

Related websites

The Mouse Atlas and Gene Expression Database has been developed by the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh.

Table of links

Assumptions made about all sites unless otherwise specified:
The site is free, in English and no registration is required. It is relatively quick to download, can be navigated by an 'intermediate' user, and no problems with connection were found. The site does not stipulate that any particular browser be used and no special software/plug-ins are required to view the site. There are relatively few gratuitous images and each page has its own URL, allowing it to be bookmarked.