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FocalPlane: a new microscopy community site from The Company of Biologists

Posted by , on 2 July 2020

FocalPlane is a new microscopy community site hosted by Journal of Cell Science (JCS), Development’s sister journal, and like the Node funded by our not-for-profit publisher, The Company of Biologists. Launched yesterday, it encompasses all fields in the biological sciences where they meet microscopy.

Here the FocalPlane team introduce the site:

From conversations the JCS editorial team had with the microscopy community, it was clear there was the need for a trusted, curated and centralised online meeting place to connect people, products, resources and information relating to microscopy. The idea for FocalPlane was born.

The ability to tackle ever-more-refined biological questions is improving as microscopy and image analysis become increasingly more complex and sophisticated. However, this has made it more and more difficult for non-experts to access user-friendly resources or tools tailored to their questions. Thus, there is a need for a platform for both microscope/software developers and researchers to exchange ideas and information to help the field develop and progress.

To encourage these interactions, the website includes primers on new techniques and interviews with the people developing them, technique validation and short video tutorials. We are also featuring case studies in which experts in microscopy and image analysis describe a problem that they have had, and how they went about solving it.

This is your site, so please use it! Read, post, comment, connect and feed back to us about what you like, what you don’t like, what’s missing, or what you’d like to see more of. We want to hear from you.


FocalPlane is supported by a distinguished Scientific Advisory Board, and will be run by Community Manager Dr Christos Kyprianou – you can read his welcome message here. Also check out Sharon Ahmad’s FocalPlane origin story. Like the Node, FocalPlane is a community site, so we encourage you to get involved – considering how fundamental microscopy is to developmental biology, we’re sure you’ll find it a useful resource.


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