Science  09 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5741, pp. 1655

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  1. EXHIBITS: Catching Rays

    Tracking the seasons was so important for the Maya of Central America and many other ancient cultures that they designed buildings and settlements around the sun's annual movements. Visit some of the sun cities of North America at Traditions of the Sun, sponsored by NASA. The site's historic and modern photos, time-lapse series, video, and other multimedia whisk you off to Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico. Watch sunlight creep over the great house of Pueblo Bonito on the summer solstice, or take a virtual reality tour of the kiva at Casa Rinconada, which aligns with the points of the compass. From there you can zoom to Mayan cities on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula such as Chichén Itzá and Dzibilchaltún. The House of the Seven Dolls in Dzibilchaltún provided a spectacular visual effect for a key Mayan ceremony. On the spring and fall equinoxes, the sun rises directly behind the building and shines through the archway.

  2. IMAGES: Microbes in Bloom

    A briny desert lake and sediment 5000 meters below the ocean surface are just two of the unlikely places where microbes prosper. The Microbiological Garden, tended by Heribert Cypionka of the University of Oldenburg in Germany, shows off the bugs dwelling in these exotic environments and in habitats closer to home. The site features more than 20 photo essays on microbial topics. You can tag along on bug-hunting expeditions, learn how to isolate luminescent bacteria from herring, and observe the bugs that inhabit the scum on the surface of a stagnant pool. Some microbes make the gallery because of their beauty, such as the yeast spores (Emericella stellamaris) that resemble flowers.

  3. DATABASE: Proteomics Central

    Sequencing genomes is a breeze compared with proteomics, identifying and describing the welter of proteins that a cell, tissue, or organism harbors. PRoteomics IDEntifications database (PRIDE), a new site hosted by the European Bioinformatics Institute, helps proteomics researchers by serving as a central storehouse for experimental results. So far, the site holds data from more than 1600 studies, including fresh findings from the Human Proteome Organization's survey of the proteins in human plasma and in platelets (Science, 21 November 2003, p. 1316). Search the clearinghouse by species and tissue to find out which proteins and peptides each study nabbed. You can also deposit your findings in the database, which accepts results from liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and gels.

  4. EDUCATION: A Universal Primer

    By opening Windows to the Universe, students can compare comets that frequent the solar system, study a climate change tutorial, or learn about a star's life. The encyclopedia of earth and space science from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, furnishes material from elementary school to high school levels, although many of the pages would be suitable for beginning college classes. The site's many galleries range from famous scientists to solar system objects such as the asteroid Ida, which is big enough to boast its own moon. Windows to the Universe also lets readers explore the interplay between science and culture by browsing poems, myths, and art about space and Earth.

  5. TOOLS: Physics Blog Trail

    Cyber scribes could be praising or blasting your latest paper, but how would you know? If you post your work on the physics preprint server arXiv, now you can find out what colleagues are saying about it. The archive has begun displaying “trackbacks,” notifications bloggers often send out when they mention a paper or site. The trackbacks appear as links below the paper's abstract, allowing anyone to see who wrote what about the findings. Read more about the feature at