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Science  24 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5692, pp. 1906
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5692.1906b

Doctors who inject anesthetic to numb selected body parts literally take a shot in the dark. Many of the body's nerves lie so deep that anesthesiologists must use unreliable cues, such as pulse and bone position, to guide them. But now physicians may be able to improve their accuracy by using anesthesiologist Paul Bigeleisen's interactive DVD. The presentation combines ultrasound, virtual-reality animation, and see-through videography to provide a detailed road map of the peripheral nervous system in a living patient. Bigeleisen, who practices at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, endeavored to make the tutorial visually appealing so users would look forward to learning the material.

HONORABLE MENTION: RNAi-A Ballet of Molecular Machines

It slices, it dices, and it may someday turn genetic disease into a thing of the past. RNA interference is a complex set of cellular processes that converts a foreign piece of double-stranded RNA into a potent gene blocker. Science animators Doug Huff and Beth Anderson of Arkitek Studios in Seattle, Washington, shed light on these processes in a narrated interactive video that takes viewers inside a living cell as double-stranded RNA is introduced. Viewers can toggle among three different acts of the ballet and get more information on each of the machines from a pop-up glossary. The animators placed equal emphasis on beauty and detail, so that the video would both satisfy molecular biologists and capture the attention of a wide audience.

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