Science 2003 April 18 - NETWATCH by dfsiopmhy6


									                                                                                                                                                               NETWATCH                                 edited by Mitch Leslie

                                                                          D ATA B A S E
                                                                                                                                                               E D U C AT I O N
                                                                          Secrets of Slime
                                                                          Although the slime mold Dictyo-                                                      Stripping Down Science News …
                                                                          stelium (right) has no limbs or organs,                                              Are your eyes aching from reading too much science on the
                                                                          it has become a favorite for studying                                                Web? Well, why not click on this site, sit back, and let the
                                                                          the molecular workings of a host of hu-                                              Naked Scientists entertain and enlighten you with a mix of
                                                                          man diseases. For example, researchers                                               science news, interviews with researchers, answers to lis-
                                                                          probing this blob discerned how cells develop resistance to the anti-                teners’ questions, and a lot of lively chat. The site archives a
                                                                          cancer drug cisplatin. This new site, curated by T. B. K. Reddy of the San           fun local radio show, started 3 years ago by a group of fully
                                                                          Diego Supercomputer Center, oozes with data on some 1400 slime                       clothed med students from the Univer-
                                                                          mold proteins whose human equivalents are linked to diseases. For                    sity of Cambridge in the United
                                                                          each protein, you can find out basic stats, such as the length of its                Kingdom.
                                                                          gene; look up functional information; and locate kindred proteins in                    Featured are 56 pro-
                                                                          other model organisms. The database is the latest outgrowth from the                 grams addressing a range
                                                                          Supercomputer Center’s site on Dictyostelium genomics (Science, 31                   of serious and light-
                                                                          August 2001, p. 1563).                                                               hearted questions, such
                                                                                                                        as whether genetically
                                                                                                                                                               modified mosquitoes can
                                                                          LINKS                                                                                defeat malaria, what’s
                                                                                                                                                               lurking in Antarctica’s
                                                                          Make an Appointment                                                                  sunken Lake Vostok, and
                                                                                                                                                               why you can’t tickle your-
                                                                          With Medical History                                                                 self. Interviews plumb the
                                                                          You won’t have to wait for hours or fill out any pesky forms to see MedHist,         minds of luminaries such as neu-
                                                                          an annotated guide to more than 700 sites on medical history. Sponsored              roscientist Susan Greenfield and genet-
                                                                          by Britain’s Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medi-             ic fingerprinting pioneer Alec Jeffreys, and often feature
                                                                          cine, the catalog describes biographical sites on everyone from the 16th             video and useful links as well. The team has also broadened
                                                                          century anatomist Andreas Vesalius to polio vaccine pioneer Albert Sabin.            the site by adding written articles, snappy book reviews,
                                                                          You can peruse classic texts or read modern records, such as a collection of         and a chat room. The Naked Scientists aim to launch a new
                                                                          interviews with researchers at the National Institutes of Health who wit-            series of programs on regional BBC radio later this year.
                                                                          nessed the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States.                                 

                                                                                                                                                                                         … and Pondering Life’s
                                                                                                                                                                                         Persistent Mysteries
                                                                                                                              Geoscience Slide Show                                      In this collection of video interviews,
                                                                                                                              Examine fossilized Permian millipede tracks                top thinkers from the Institute for Ad-
                                                                                                                              from the Grand Canyon, parse Native Amer-                  vanced Study in Princeton, New
                                                                                                                              ican petroglyphs, or spy on an advancing                   Jersey—Einstein’s old hangout—
                                                                                                                              glacier—all by flicking through this collec-               grapple with some of the deepest
                                                                                                                              tion of more than 16,000 earth science pic-                questions in science and other fields.

                                                                                                                              tures from the U.S. Geological Survey. Along               For example, theoretical physicist Ed-
                                                                                                                              with stacks of historical photos dating back               ward Witten sounds off about string
                                                                                                                              to 1868 and pretty shots from national                     theory, an attempt to close the gulf
                                                                                                                              parks, the site offers plenty of free, high-               between relativity and quantum me-
                                                                                                                              resolution images useful for researchers. For              chanics; and astrophysicist Sara Sea-
                                                                                                                              instance, you can track the geological                     ger explains how to divine evidence
                                                                                                                              changes at Mount St. Helens with a gallery                 for extraterrestrial life from measure-
                                                                                                                              of pictures taken before, during, and after                ments of a planet’s atmosphere. The
                                                                                                                              the eruption in May 1980 (left).Another col-               discussions are part of Big Ideas, a TV
                                                                                                                              lection captures the damage from some 40                   series produced by New York City’s
                                                                                                                              earthquakes around the world, including the                public broadcasting station WNET
                                                                                                                              1989 temblor in Northern California.                       that airs in April and May.

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