[Xenopus] XenHead part II

Adams, Dany Dany.Adams at tufts.edu
Wed Aug 12 11:54:48 EDT 2015

Dear Xenopus Community


We are so pleased by the rapid and uniformly positive response to the announcement of XenHead.  I honestly didn’t expect this much until after the Xenopus PI meeting at the end of September.

Since people are already starting to think about the possibilities, I think it will be useful to provide a little more information now.

The funding we have for the creation of XenHead is one aim of a grant to study electrophysiological aspects of craniofacial development.  In other words, for now we are a very small shop; our own work will be focused on providing data on bioelectrical properties during craniofacial patterning, and assembling/curating the other contributions from the community to integrate everything into a comprehensive resource. I am speeding things up, because of the response, but it will take time to reach the point where contributions will actually start appearing on an accessible website.  We will continue to use that time to hone the plan based on thoughts from the community.

Meanwhile, we are very encouraged by the response. Offers of contributions started coming in within a couple of hours of sending the announcement. Many of them will expand the scope of the site and will unquestionably make the site even more useful to even more people.  Moreover, ideas for enhancements are being incorporated all the time; the community is really taking part and, as hoped, the plans for the Atlas are improving because of that. Goals that have been updated since yesterday, in fact, are that when possible the site will go beyond stage 50, and we will be exploring connections with additional databases that are brought to our attention.

The most pressing goals for me right now are: work out intellectual property issues so that contributors will receive attribution and protection; determine how best to simplify the contribution process; and start work on instructions for contributors.  One of the great ideas that is already on the docket to be incorporated (thanks to Gerhard Schlosser) is to ease and standardize annotation by providing pre-labeled cartoons for contributors to download, then draw on, mark up, or otherwise modify, then upload with their images.  So, another high priority is to find an illustrator and provide a beta-version of the system for people to try out.   And of course, perpetually high on the priority list will be the search for ongoing funding.

I am keeping very careful track of emails and interest – keep those cards and letters coming - and names are being added to my XenHead Heads mailing list so that future updates won’t take up too much Xine space.  If you’d like to be on that list, but don’t have anything else to say, just send an email to dany.adams at tufts.edu with the subject line “XenHead updates please.”

Yours, very busily,

Dany Adams and Mike Levin

Dany Spencer Adams, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Department of Biology, Tufts University
TEL (617) 627-6204
FAX (617) 627-5305
Dany.Adams at Tufts.edu


Dany Adams
Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology
200 Boston Avenue, Suite 4600
Medford, MA 02155

"Err and err and err again, but less and less and less."   P. Hein
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