Science  17 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5460, pp. 1883

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  1. COOL IMAGES: Life in a Paleo Sea

    Ammonoids swim in an ancient ocean in this rendition of what the once-ubiquitous mollusks may have looked like before they died out in a mass extinction 65 million years ago. Øyvind Hammer of the University of Oslo's Paleontological Museum reconstructed the scene as part of his computational research exploring how fossil invertebrates developed, interacted, and evolved. For example, Hammer's algorithms can predict the ribbing on ammonoids and the spirals on a tablet of fossilized coral, growth patterns that help researchers “understand the evolution of shape,” he explains. Visit Hammer's Web site to see images and movies of more long-gone life-forms, from straight-shelled nautiloids to graptolites to sea lily-like crinoids.


    The daily gene. Keep abreast of genetic medicine news with GeneLetter, a free Web newsletter brimming with daily Reuters Health Information articles, capsule reviews of new journal articles, and features on topics such as biotech foods, genetic counseling, and DNA forensics.

    Quake watch. Got the shakes? Check out the planet's tremblings at the Live Internet Seismic Server, which posts seismograms transmitted across the Internet from 36 monitoring stations around the world. Click on a world map to get data updated every 30 minutes along with stats on the biggest quakes of the past 24 hours.

    Molecular profiles. Putting a face on the 10,000 structures in the Protein Data Bank is a new feature called Molecule of the Month—brief articles written by a scientist that describe the biology and role in society of all-important molecules such as myoglobin and DNA polymerase (at left). Coming in April: the most common protein in the human body (can you guess?).

    Lessons in development. Cocaine, methylmercury, and rubella virus share one thing in common: They're all notorious for causing birth defects, according to this educational site from the Teratology Society. It includes a teratology history, profiles of scientists, and assorted links.

    Strength in small numbers. African Americans make up less than 1% of U.S. mathematicians, but their publication rates are above average—and a surprising 25% of them are women. Those facts come from Mathematicians of the African Diaspora, a Web site packed with biographies on about 300 African Americans in math. Other tidbits include a history of math in sub-Saharan Africa and scholarship links.

  3. SITE VISIT: Behavior School

    Perhaps no area of science fascinates the public and researchers alike more than animal behavior, which explores matters such as how birds flock, why monarch butterflies migrate up to 3000 kilometers, how bees and ants build stunningly complex societies, and whether chimpanzees exhibit consciousness. Also known as ethology, this field ranges widely, sprawling into evolution and human psychology.

    Rounding up an unruly herd of animal behavior links is this Zoological Record page, an alphabetical, annotated list of 60-some resources. They range from research projects to popular sites: You can click over to a study of Japanese fighting fish, a cetacean behavior lab, a page of essays on topics such as sociability and intelligence, or the Web site for Nature: Inside the Animal Mind, a PBS TV series. Also useful for background and research resources is the Animal Behavior Society's site. Check out the education page for an article on the value of studying animal behavior, or follow the software link to download tools such as a computer model of flocking behavior. Also aimed at researchers is this University of Nebraska page. It offers a concise list of journals, graduate programs, societies, and discussion groups on topics ranging from bioacoustics to herpetology.

  4. Science Online

    Every week, the editors of Science select one of the journal's Perspectives for special online treatment. The result: Enhanced Perspectives—thought-provoking overviews of cutting-edge research, bulging with hyperlinks to related Web resources. For an archive of past Enhanced Perspectives sorted by subject, and a pointer to this week's edition on catalytic chemistry, follow the link at