NET PICS: Technicolor Chemistry

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Science  01 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5364, pp. 647
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5364.647c

Not so long ago, one learned chemistry from those stodgy stick-and-ball models on the teacher's desk. But with today's computer graphics, chemists can turn out a visual feast of multicolored molecules and animations of atoms in motion. One place to partake is a page of links called The Chemist's Art Gallery, run by Leif Laaksonen of Finland's Center for Scientific Computing in Espoo ( Some links showcase the center's own work, such as a movie of a drop of stringy molecules spreading on a surface. Other links lead to images on more than 40 other sites, from portraits of viruses to flicks of dancing water molecules and proteins docking to enzymes in slow motion. Laaksonen says the page has “attracted a broad range of people from school kids to scientists” since he started it 4 years ago.

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