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oUTCT PEN Project ID: 00000C887 Public
1633 Media · 1376 Specimens · Managed by: Jessie Maisano

oUTCT is partnering with the oVert (openVertebrate) project to make nearly 9 terabytes of existing high-resolution X-ray computed tomographic (HRXCT) data publicly accessible, and train the next generation of students in best practices for these data. The University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility (UTCT) was established in 1997 to make HRXCT – a direct descendant of medical CT – available to researchers in the natural sciences. Since then, scientists from around the world have brought their most important and precious natural history specimens to UTCT to image and measure their interior features nondestructively. This application of HRXCT technology has been tremendously successful, resulting in the proliferation of scanners at institutions across the country. But UTCT datasets, acquired in part via dozens of NSF grants and cited more than 18,000 times in academic publications, remain in high demand due to their broad scope, high data quality, and historical significance. This demand has been fueled in part by the public-facing Digital Library of Morphology (DigiMorph.org), an NSF-funded project online since 2002 and housed at UTCT, which serves HRXCT-derived animations for more than 1,000 biological and paleontological specimens. In the oUTCT project, UTCT and DigiMorph are partnering with oVert and iDigBio (both at the University of Florida) and the MorphoSource data repository (Duke University) to make this unparalleled collection of HRXCT datasets more readily discoverable and more easily repurposed. oUTCT will also provide training to the oVert community, which spans nearly 20 universities and academic institutions, to maximize the scientific impact of that project. Over the course of two years, oUTCT is uploading HRXCT data of nearly 1,500 fossil and extant vertebrate species scanned for 90 UTCT clients to MorphoSource, where they can be easily discovered and downloaded by everyone from scientists to artists to K-12 educators. This mobilization is being accomplished by undergraduate students employed at UTCT, who are learning the basics of HRXCT data acquisition and visualization as well as elementary bioinformatics associated with iDigBio, DigiMorph, and MorphoSource. In addition to this educational outreach, UTCT will host two short courses per year, cosponsored by oVert and iDigBio, to train students and scientists associated with oVert and MorphoSource in the fundamentals of HRXCT data acquisition, visualization, analysis, and long-term management. These activities will expand the impact of the original oVert project and maximize the return on NSF’s investment in it, UTCT, DigiMorph, iDigBio, and MorphoSource.

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  ID Part Object Taxonomy Type Date Added Publication Status  
000098645 head USNM:HERP:USNM 12378 Typhlops jamaicensis Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
000098641 head USNM:HERP:USNM 260564 Leiocephalus barahonensis Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
000098640 head USNM:HERP:USNM 59918 Epicrates striatus Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
000098642 head USNM:HERP:USNM 205722 Leiolepis rubritaeniata Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
000098643 head USNM:HERP:USNM 200767 Morunasaurus annularis Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
000098639 head USNM:HERP:USNM 128679 Delma borea Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
000098637 head USNM:HERP:USNM 341978 Colobosaura modesta Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
000098636 head USNM:HERP:USNM 204078 Anilius scytale Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
000098638 head USNM:HERP:USNM 547842 Cricosaura typica Volumetric Image Series 2020-01-13 Restricted Download  
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