Elsevier's Brainnavigator Research Tool to Launch New Features at Neuroscience 2009 Show

Burlington, MA, 16 October 2009 – Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information and solutions, announced today that it will showcase the new features it is rolling out for its BrainNavigator research tool at the Society for Neuroscience conference, Neuroscience 2009, in Chicago, the world's largest forum for neuroscientists.

Recently adopted by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), BrainNavigator is an online, interactive, 3D software tool that maps images of brain anatomy, helping neuroscience researchers to save time and improve the quality of their daily research. BrainNavigator helps locate the position of structures within the brain, similar to a GPS system, making visualization and communication about scientific findings about the brain easier. After unveiling the prototype version at the Society for Neuroscience’s Neuroscience 2008 tradeshow last November, the version including mouse and rat brains is now available at www.brainnav.com.

BrainNavigator was developed in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and under the editorship of Professor George Paxinos, Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney and Charles Watson, Professor of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth and Senior Professorial Research Fellow Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney. Offering both free and subscription-based content, it is used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other research institutions, which need an easy-to-use online system that allows them to browse, compare and label high-resolution material as well as to create virtual sections from sophisticated 3D models of the brain. Users can also annotate atlas drawings and share their annotations with colleagues, which helps them work more productively, and collaborate on new findings.

New features include:* The ability to export and print 2D and 3D images. Now, users will be able to print and save images together with annotations in 2D, or any virtual slice created in the 3D application, to a graphic file. Graphics can be used in any standard program, such as Word or PowerPoint—especially useful for enhancing grant proposals and research papers or conference submissions.
* “Injection Planner” a feature that allows users to select a point for injection of an electrode or pharmacological substances via a syringe, and visualize the path for the injection in the 3D model of the brain. This will show all of the structures that will be affected by the procedure, and simulate the size of the injected substance in the brain, so any injection or electrophysiological recording can be appropriately planned. By moving the starting point of the path in the 3D the user will be able to plan alternate routes to avoid certain structures. This will save time and also help with understanding how disturbing certain structures may affect their work.
* An image overlay function which will allow users to place the atlas drawing over the stained image. This is particularly useful for annotation and users can share these precisely positioned annotations with other BrainNavigator users. Also, in the future users will be able to use the overlay feature with their own images uploaded to the workspace.

“We developed the new features and improvements in direct response to the feedback we have received from users in very close collaboration with our development partners,” said Johannes Menzel, Publisher Science Solutions and Content Strategy, Elsevier Science & Technology Books. “We will continue to improve BrainNavigator with regular functionality releases, as well as roll out a version for human and primate brains in spring 2010.”

BrainNavigator will be showcased at Elsevier’s booth (#112) at Neuroscience 2009, and hourly demonstrations will be given. To highlight the product’s comparison to a GPS system, Elsevier will raffle away a new GPS system to a conference attendee and interested parties can enter to win at the Elsevier booth. Free trials of the product, including new features, will be available beginning November 13, 2009. To sign up for a trial, visit www.brainnav.com/info.

Nothing in this press release constitutes or should be inferred to be an endorsement or recommendation of any product, service, or enterprise by the National Institutes of Health, any other agency of the United States Government, or any employee of the United States Government.

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About BrainNavigatorBrainNavigator is a collaboration between Elsevier and the Allen Institute for Brain Science, pairing Elsevier’s vast neuroscience content with technology derived from Allen Institute’s cutting-edge Brain Explorer® 3D software. Offering both free and subscription-based content, this dynamic new resource represents a promising step towards new discoveries in the advancement of brain research. All users will be able to browse images and structures. Paid subscribers will enjoy using high resolution images, adjustable virtual slicing and having the ability to annotate and save their work and share it with their colleagues globally, among other features. Details regarding BrainNavigator’s functionality can be found at www.brainnav.com/info.

About the Allen Institute for Brain ScienceLaunched in 2003, the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit medical research organization dedicated to advancing brain research. Started with $100 million in seed money from philanthropist Paul G. Allen, the Institute takes on projects at the leading edge of science - far-reaching projects at the intersection of biology and technology. The resulting data create publicly available resources that fuel discovery for countless other researchers worldwide. The Institute’s data and tools are available on the Web free of charge at www.alleninstitute.org

About the Prince of Wales Medical Research InstituteThe Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute’s work is directed to understanding the integrative actions of the brain and nervous system in health and disease. The brain and spinal cord control and coordinate everything that we think, speak, feel and do. Damage or disease of the brain produces devastating results. It can leave you unable to move, unable to speak, unable to control even your basic bodily functions. It may leave you with debilitating chronic pain.

The scientists at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney, Australia, are dedicated to understanding every aspect of the nervous system. They also focus on translating their research into clinical practice to help diagnose and prevent disease and ultimately to look for curative therapies. The world leading research covers everything from cells, genes and molecules through to how the elderly walk, and from the tiniest blood vessel to the control of breathing.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com

Media Contact:
Carol Roden
Elsevier
+1 619 699 6822
c.roden@elsevier.com