How to Use the Database
The Chickscope Database is a relatively simple way of searching
through the 2000+ images of the developing chick embryo taken by
members of the first Chickscope project in the spring of
1996. The database can be searched on any of the categories, and
responds fairly quickly for a non-relational, home-grown
The database contains roughly thirteen days of images from the
developing egg. The days available correspond to days 0-4, 7-11,
and 14-16. Days 5, 6, 12, and 13 correspond to weekends during
the first experiment when the MRI system was unavailable. Days
17 through 21 were not imaged due to time constraints, but by
day 17, the chick moves around inside the egg so much, it is
hard to get a clean image. Many images taken on day 16 display
motion artifacts. To see some of the worst examples, search for
images on that day rated either "1" or "2".
The database will respond to your queries even without changing
any of the fields. This is the one crucial piece of information
you need to remember when operating the database: an empty field
defaults to all possible values for the given field. That
way, you do not have to know anything about the contents of the
Do not be surprised if your browser takes some time to load the
matches during larger searches, especially if you have
thumbnails turned on. Certain browsers - like Communicator -
render large tables and many images very slooooooowwwwwwly.
The fields behave in the following manner:
Enter the day of development to search for. A value of "0"
would correspond to an unincubated or freshly laid
egg. Correspondingly, a value of "16" would be for eggs
incubated for 16 days - the "official" last day of the imaging
program in 1996.
You can search for multiple days at once by using the
|0 7, 14; 15; 16
||Days numbers separated by spaces, commas, or
semi-colons. This example searches days 0, 7, 14,
15, and 16.
|0 - 3 14...16
||Ranges of days, separated by a hyphen or by three
ellipses ("..."). This example searches days 0, 1,
2, 3, 14, 15, and 16.
|0-3; 5, 8, 10-13
||Any combination of the above. This examples
searches days 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
Default behavior: An empty date field corresponds to
all of the days in the database, and would be equivalent to
the search string "0-21". All white space is ignored - you
can put spaces between numbers and symbols without
problems, though the three ellipses must be contiguous
Currently disabled. Would
search for keywords that describe the content of the
images. The database does not contain keywords at this
The Chickscope staff have rated each of the images
according to quality and based upon the features visible in
the image. The best images are rated "5", while the worst
are rated "1". Multiple ratings may be specified.
Default behavior: Search for all images regardless
of the rating. This is equivalent to checking all of the
The orientation of the image: either front, side, or
top. The diagram below should clarify which orientation
corresponds to which slice:
Multiple orientations may be specified. The results will be
sorted by image orientation: front slices first, followed by
side views, then top views.
Default behavior: By default, none of the
orientations are selected. This is equivalent to checking
all of the orientation boxes with one exception: the images
are grouped in one category only. Select all three views if
you want the images categorized by view.
The method by which the results are
displayed. Thumbnails returns 64x64 pixel thumbnails
of the images that match the other search
criteria. List returns a list of each match.
The quickest way to crash your browser is to search for a
large number of matches (such as every day, every view, all
ratings) with thumbnails turned on. This results in 2000+
thumbnails in a massive table. Restricted searches are less
of a problem.
Default behavior: Because of the risk of overloading
your browser, the database by default returns each match
without a thumbnail.
Matches can be sorted in either ascending or
descending chronological order.
Default behavior: Matches are sorted in descending
order since more obvious features are seen in later
Reset, Clear, Search:
Controls the resetting, clearing, and
searching. Reset restores the field values to the
original values displayed. Clear erases all field
information and restores the form to an empty, pristine
state. Search starts the searching process.
Default behavior: After each successive search, the
search parameters are considered the default values. Reset
therefore restores the values to what was used during the