Science  18 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5618, pp. 399

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  1. DATABASE: Secrets of Slime

    Although the slime mold Dictyostelium has no limbs or organs, it has become a favorite for studying the molecular workings of a host of human diseases. For example, researchers probing this blob discerned how cells develop resistance to the anticancer drug cisplatin. This new site, curated by T. B. K. Reddy of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, oozes with data on some 1400 slime mold proteins whose human equivalents are linked to diseases. For each protein, you can find out basic stats, such as the length of its gene; look up functional information; and locate kindred proteins in other model organisms. The database is the latest outgrowth from the Supercomputer Center's site on Dictyostelium genomics (Science, 31 August 2001, p. 1563).

  2. LINKS: Make an Appointment With Medical History

    You won't have to wait for hours or fill out any pesky forms to see MedHist, an annotated guide to more than 700 sites on medical history. Sponsored by Britain's Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, the catalog describes biographical sites on everyone from the 16th century anatomist Andreas Vesalius to polio vaccine pioneer Albert Sabin. You can peruse classic texts or read modern records, such as a collection of interviews with researchers at the National Institutes of Health who witnessed the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States.

  3. IMAGES: Geoscience Slide Show

    Examine fossilized Permian millipede tracks from the Grand Canyon, parse Native American petroglyphs, or spy on an advancing glacier—all by flicking through this collection of more than 16,000 earth science pictures from the U.S. Geological Survey. Along with stacks of historical photos dating back to 1868 and pretty shots from national parks, the site offers plenty of free, high-resolution images useful for researchers. For instance, you can track the geological changes at Mount St. Helens with a gallery of pictures taken before, during, and after the eruption in May 1980. Another collection captures the damage from some 40 earthquakes around the world, including the 1989 temblor in Northern California.

  4. EDUCATION: Stripping Down Science News ...

    Are your eyes aching from reading too much science on the Web? Well, why not click on this site, sit back, and let the Naked Scientists entertain and enlighten you with a mix of science news, interviews with researchers, answers to listeners' questions, and a lot of lively chat. The site archives a fun local radio show, started 3 years ago by a group of fully clothed med students from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

    Featured are 56 programs addressing a range of serious and lighthearted questions, such as whether genetically modified mosquitoes can defeat malaria, what's lurking in Antarctica's sunken Lake Vostok, and why you can't tickle yourself. Interviews plumb the minds of luminaries such as neuroscientist Susan Greenfield and genetic fingerprinting pioneer Alec Jeffreys, and often feature video and useful links as well. The team has also broadened the site by adding written articles, snappy book reviews, and a chat room. The Naked Scientists aim to launch a new series of programs on regional BBC radio later this year.

  5. ... and Pondering Life's Persistent Mysteries

    In this collection of video interviews, top thinkers from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey—Einstein's old hangout—grapple with some of the deepest questions in science and other fields. For example, theoretical physicist Edward Witten sounds off about string theory, an attempt to close the gulf between relativity and quantum mechanics; and astrophysicist Sara Seager explains how to divine evidence for extraterrestrial life from measurements of a planet's atmosphere. The discussions are part of Big Ideas, a TV series produced by New York City's public broadcasting station WNET that airs in April and May.