Science  19 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5542, pp. 483

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  1. ARCHIVE: Annals of an Early Evolutionist

    Allergic to controversy, Charles Darwin left the public defense of his theory to supporters such as Thomas Henry Huxley. The articulate and forceful Huxley relished the intellectual combat, dubbing himself “Darwin's bulldog.” Learn more about the largely self-taught scientist who coined the word “agnostic” at The Huxley File, a trove of essays, letters, photos, and other Huxleyana curated by an English professor and a mathematician at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Huxley expounded on topics as diverse as the ideal school curriculum and whether a frog has a soul, and you'll find nearly 700 of his pieces here. The site also offers helpful backgrounders and responses by Huxley's contemporaries, as well as sketches and photos from his life and scientific travels.

  2. EDUCATION: Organic Tutor

    Despite the title, Organic Chemistry Help is not exclusively for frantic students cramming for final exams. Written in straightforward style, this introductory Web text can also serve as a quick refresher if, say, you've forgotten the difference between alkanes and alkenes or can't recall the details of the Friedel-Crafts alkylation. Brisk pages cover the structure, properties, and nomenclature of the major classes of organic molecules and explain common reaction mechanisms. The author, a chemistry student at Frostburg State University in Maryland, also provides tips on synthesis techniques, practice tests, and rated links to other chem sites.

  3. LINKS: A Heaping Serving of Gene Chips, Please

    Microarrays for comparing patterns of gene expression are the hottest thing in biology and medicine since the advent of the polymerase chain reaction a decade ago. Whether you're a microarray maven or just want to know what all the fuss is about, try this diverse collection of annotated links corralled by grad student Y. F. Leung of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Novices keen to learn the basics of gene chips might want to start with the background section, which offers several lucid, illustrated primers. Seasoned pros will find links to a range of products for making and scanning microarrays, plenty of lab protocols, and rosters of labs and people using microarray technology. The site also offers links to a dozen databases of gene expression results, such as Harvard's ExpressDB database of yeast and Escherichia coli RNA expression values. Leung has also written a handy comparison of software packages for analyzing microarray results. And if your experiment keeps bombing, a page on troubleshooting illustrates and diagnoses some common stumbling blocks.∼b400559/array.html

  4. WEBCAST: Match Wits With the Laureates

    Sure, they've got a flashy medal to hang on the wall, but how much do those Nobel winners really know? The Exploratorium in San Francisco is giving you a chance to test the intellectual mettle of a group of laureates during a live Webcast on Saturday, 27 October. Log in at 1 p.m. Pacific time to watch Nobelists such as Douglas Osheroff, the 1997 winner in physics, grapple with questions submitted by a live audience and by viewers on the Web. Part of a 2-day commemoration of the centennial of the Nobel Prizes, the Webcast will also feature laureates explaining the science underlying some of the museum's exhibits. E-mail your puzzlers to nobel{at}

  5. IMAGES: Botanical Bounty

    The Hengduan Mountains of southern China is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots: imperiled areas chock-full of unique species. At this site sponsored by the Harvard University Herbaria, you can check out the impressive haul of specimens from one of the few botanic surveys of the Hengduan Mountain region. Once you are oriented with maps of the area, search through collection records on more than 10,000 specimens gathered over 6 years. The star attraction is the image archive holding more than 600 shots of landscapes and exotic fungi and flora.