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Open Access Publications from the University of California

PointCloudExplore 2: Visual exploration of 3D gene expression


To better understand how developmental regulatory networks are defined in the genome sequence, the Berkeley Drosophila Transcription Network Project (BDNTP) has developed a suite of methods to describe 3D gene expression data, i.e., the output of the network at cellular resolution for multiple time points. To allow researchers to explore these novel data sets we have developed PointCloudXplore (PCX). In PCX we have linked physical and information visualization views via the concept of brushing (cell selection). For each view dedicated operations for performing selection of cells are available. In PCX, all cell selections are stored in a central management system. Cells selected in one view can in this way be highlighted in any view allowing further cell subset properties to be determined. Complex cell queries can be defined by combining different cell selections using logical operations such as AND, OR, and NOT. Here we are going to provide an overview of PointCloudXplore 2 (PCX2), the latest publicly available version of PCX. PCX2 has shown to be an effective tool for visual exploration of 3D gene expression data. We discuss (i) all views available in PCX2, (ii) different strategies to perform cell selection, (iii) the basic architecture of PCX2., and (iv) illustrate the usefulness of PCX2 using selected examples.

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