IMAGES: Biomolecules Meet the Web

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Science  30 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5390, pp. 839
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5390.839d

Remember the hours you spent as a student hunched over textbooks, getting familiar with the nooks and crannies that determine a protein's function? These days, students can bring biomolecules to life on the Web. Take the Online Macromolecular Museum,* which features tutorials about molecules like the “sliding DNA clamp” shown here (a subunit of DNA polymerase encircling double-helical DNA). As you click through the tutorials, colors on animated molecules switch on and off, highlighting key structures and amino acids, and links take you to minilessons on ligands like the AIDS drug AZT. You can also grab and turn the molecules or zoom in, which “really adds a kind of investigatory component,” says biologist David Marcey at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, whose students helped write the tutorials with Chime, a free software program. Get to more Chime tutorials through an outside link called World Index.

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