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Science & Technology Web Awards 2004: BIOLOGY

MBGnet



FROM MBGnet
Missouri Botanical Garden's MBGnet

This guide to the various biomes and ecosystems of the world, brought to you by the Missouri Botanical Garden, offers a colorful and educational cornucopia of info, tempting visitors to find out about the vegetation and climes where they live and to branch out into the unknown to explore the rest of the world. Be it rainforest, tundra or taiga; oceans, wetlands or streams, adults and kids alike will be clicking through the continents, learning how rivers are made, what the different types of deciduous leaves are and how to identify them, and which wildlife inhabit the various ecological sectors of the planet.

The Genes We Share with Yeast, Flies, Worms and Mice

To some, they're leavening agents and household pests, but to the tireless biologists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), they're medicine's little wonders. You'll be packing up those flyswatters and snap-traps in no time once you rifle through the files documenting the strides researchers have made in breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes research through work with yeast, flies, worms and mice. The mapping of the human genome would have been virtually impossible without studies of the genomes of our tiny friends, and ¿The Genes We Share¿ presents this elegant unity of life in concise, well-written articles with attractive graphics.

Parasites and Parasitological Resources

Descriptions, diagrams, drawings, photos and even entire sections devoted to worms and pet parasites--you're sure to find whatever's eating you at this site. Herein, an incomparable trove of creepy-crawlies that would like to feast on you for lunch (and breakfast, dinner and midnight snack). Searchable both alphabetically and taxonomically, the site's a breeze to use as both research destination and accidental gross-out fetish. With this in mind, the weak of stomach will be rewarded by self-restraint here, for as educational as the site is, the photos can be quite disturbing, even for those of us who have drunk the water without boiling it and lived to tell the tale.

Understanding Evolution

A one-stop destination for educators of any level, the University of California Museum of Paleontology has compiled an inexhaustible resource for teaching evolution in the classroom. From explaining evolution basics to finding common ground between science and religion, the site's friendly layout (a fitting, clickable timeline presented on a chalkboard) deftly leads instructors through each step of the process, including lesson plans, projects and potential pitfalls. Teachers just choose their topics of interest and grade level and receive tailor-made lessons for their specific needs. Evo-curious surfers from outside academia will benefit from the impeccable curricula of this resource as well.

Digimorph

Using a super-powerful CT scanner, the folks at the University of Texas have created state-of-the-art visualizations of the internal and external structures of nearly 300 vertebrates and many invertebrates as well. Browse the images by cladogram, common or scientific name. Slice, dice and divide the structures of primates, lizards and elephant bird eggs to inspect them inside out with Java applets. Use Quicktime to view movies of just the skeletons or dynamic cutaways of specimens. With visualizations like these at your disposal, even the common house mouse is a wonder to behold.



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