This year marks the 50th anniversary of James Watson and Francis Crick¿s discovery of the structure of DNA, and what better way to celebrate than by creating an ultra-sophisticated web site commemorating that historic event. The site¿s centerpiece is an interactive timeline of the events leading up to and following the eureka moment, starting with Mendel¿s 1860s work on heredity and ending with the recent sequencing of the human genome. Other features explain how DNA works and how scientists can manipulate it. The folks at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the brains behind this site, are to be congratulated for giving the fabric of our lives the rich treatment it deserves.
Genetic Science Learning Center
Everything you ever wanted to know about chromosomes, mutations and biowarfare, and even a few things you didn¿t! If your Bio 101¿s a little rusty, have no fear¿the University of Utah¿s got you covered with more than enough info to transform you into a budding Watson or Crick in no time. To start, brush up on genetic basics through their Flash-technology-enhanced interactive tour. The site¿s crowning jewel? "Click and Clone," wherein you, via the wonders of animation, actually replicate your own mouse.
An educational cornucopia of articles covering biodiversity, environment, genomics, biotechnology, evolution, new frontiers (biowarfare, genetic transplantation and other cutting-edge research) and education. This straightforward site serves as a reliable bibliography, containing thousands of full, annotated papers by the world¿s most esteemed scientists, plus classroom materials¿each article is even correlated to the U.S. National Science Education Standards so teachers will have no problem working the site¿s massive databases into their curricula. Be sure to sign up for regular email updates to receive notice each time new developments are made to the site.
The world of biology to truly comes to life at this site, brought to you by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Watch extraordinary 3-D QuickTime animations of a bacterium infecting a cell, the process of meiosis or the sinusoidal wave progression of music chords across your cochlea (a real must-see (and hear) for music, math and bio buffs alike!). The Virtual Museum includes such multimedia exhibitions as the History of Biological Clockworks and a self-navigating tour through the actual Hearts and Hypertension physical exhibit, on display at HHMI in 1998. Add mini animated primers on electrocardiograms and antibiotics, among other topics, and you¿ve got a lively intro to bio that¿s both entertaining and artfully arranged.
Animal Diversity Web
A collaborative project of students and professional scientists, the Animal Diversity Web is a searchable database of natural history, classification and conservation based at the University of Michigan. From up-close photos of porcupine droppings to QuickTime video movies of rotating gorilla skulls, there¿s really no corner of animal arcana that goes untapped. Highly interactive, image-rich, with an impressive array of teaching tools, this site is an indispensable tool for biologists, students, and teachers alike. New material is added continually¿recent acquisitions include audio recordings of Costa Rican songbirds¿and content is easily accessible by high-powered search, quickly targeting kingdom, phylum, family, class, genus or species.
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