In addition to the value The Cell offers the researcher as mentioned above, this database also has a wide array of features for users, be they researchers, educators, students, or the public.
The Cell utilizes the Web Image Browser (WIB). The WIB is an easy to use, intuitive way to explore high-resolution images. It gives the user the capability to zoom and see the great detail present in these images. Using The Cell’s other Detailed Viewer, the user can also explore 4D images, those that are both a Z series and a time series.
Additionally for users, there are free accounts that also contain some useful features. With a free account the user can define Areas of Interest, and upon returning to The Cell, these Areas of Interest are updated with recent images so that the user has a customized homepage. An account also provides the ability to tag photos to certain photoboxes for easy reference later. The user can create and define as many of these as needed or desired.
The Cell has some very exciting features planned for the future development of these current features. The user can “friend” other researchers and share photoboxes with them. Or perhaps an educator looking for a set of images to explain mitosis could share a photobox with other educators. In the future, Areas of Interest and Advanced Searches will be accessible by personal subscription, so that when images matching personal interests are entered into the system, an email will alert the user that new images are waiting.