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Science  28 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5466, pp. 571
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5466.571d

Cyber-anchor. A British news agency last week trotted out the world's first virtual newsreader, a computer-generated Posh Spice look-alike who reads breaking news 24 hours a day. Face animation researchers told NetWatch that Ananova, as she's called, shows how far the field has to go to make a realistic talking head: Deaf people can't easily read her lips, for example. Still, the text-to-speech software behind her attractive face is state of the art.

Sprouting genome. Over 14,600 expressed sequence tags, fragments of genes used as probes, have just been released for Medicago truncatula, an alfalfalike plant used as a model for studies of legumes.

Lingua paleo. Visit the Polyglot Paleontologist to download English translations of papers, originally published in French, Chinese, and other languages, on everything from insects to dinosaurs. So far the site features 120-odd papers from 1873 to the 1990s and welcomes suggestions of promising ones to be translated.

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