Friday, May 13, 2011

Wanted - OpenAccess figures on introductory molecular and cellular biology topics

Quick post here.  I am looking for OpenAccess figures on introductory topics in molecular and cellular biology like DNA, RNA, proteins, transcription, translation, etc.  I want these for multiple purposes including teaching, blog posts, etc.  Anyone out there know of a database of such things?

Some suggestions from Twitter


  1. A full database would be useful. Gatsby Plants has quite a lot of useful slides. And of course it would be quite an advanced 'introductory' course that needed much more than is wiki!

  2. are those fully open access (i.e., in the public domain)?

  3. While the focus is microbiology, there are resources related to these areas in The library is open access. I would also recommend searching the This portal, which also searches MicrobeLibrary content, is a collaboration between several disciplinary societies. It is also open access.

    For journal articles regarding teaching in this area try the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education ( Again, this journal is open access.

    Hope the information is useful.

  4. Be careful in the use of Open Access - it can mean different things. Do you mean free to access or free to re-use?

    At The Cell: An Image Library we are a fully free resource to use but the images in our database have a variety of licensing. We have a large number in the public domain, some with Creative Commons Licensing and even some copyrighted images.

    Please explore at

  5. Orloff - yes I know some people use Open Access to mean "I can get it for no charge" but I mean real Open Access. Free as in freedom. No restrictions on use.

  6. Since there are several figure legend search tools that operate on the PMC corpus, one alternative is just to search through these for topics of interest.

    Yale Image Finder:


    BioText Search:

  7. The Cell: An Image Library has many public domain images. As of right now 1718 - see

  8. I used to make some figures for myself while I was studying for my qualifying exam. Maybe they could come in handy for you too. You can find them all at:

    And I make new diagrams like this all the time because I love to do it. :)

  9. The "Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms" by NIH has a bunch of images and animations and they're all completely open access and free of restrictions.

  10. Learning about 3D animation options, and an animator shared this database - (e.g. would provide DNA relevant models). Though most require a fee, my impression is that they are royalty-free.


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