Science  06 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5391, pp. 1003

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  1. COOL IMAGES: Physicists on Film

    A grinning Richard Feynman is just one of the physics luminaries featured in a treasure trove of 1200 images posted by the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. The widow of the eminent Italian-American physicist endowed this collection of historic photos, and the American Institute of Physics runs it as a division of the Niels Bohr Library. But it has just recently found its way to the Web—and employees are working rapidly to scan more of their 25,000 photographs onto the site. Download images of a young Werner Heisenberg blowing bubbles or a white-haired Marie Curie strolling with Albert Einstein, along with artists' conceptions of Galileo, Newton, and Kepler. And for those with an affinity for one special face, photo order forms are available online.

  2. NET NEWS: Med Schools Look to Virtual Dissection

    Gross anatomy, that months-long dissection of a cadaver that marks a student's first year of medical school, has a new sidekick: virtual autopsy and pathology. Instructors hope the combination of both approaches will help students visualize disease processes and spread knowledge of anatomy outside medical school labs.

    At the core of this movement is the Visible Human project, thousands of slices of tissue from a male and a female cadaver that the Bethesda, Maryland-based National Library of Medicine (NLM) digitized and made available 4 years ago. The project is helping many schools create a three-dimensional (3D) “recyclable” cadaver on which students can perform virtual dissections. “Ultimately, the goal is to have a living model” that allows students to witness organ systems in action, says Ramani Pichumani, program manager for visualization and modeling technology at Stanford University School of Medicine, which just received an NLM grant to begin planning for one.

    Medical school officials hasten to point out that gross anatomy isn't going the way of the dodo. McGill University in Montreal is working on a project to create 3D images of the pelvis and prostate, as well as embryo development. But McGill anatomist Eugene Daniels says “we have sufficient cadavers” and no plans to cut back on live dissections.

    It's a different story at the University of Leicester in England. A decline in autopsies has sent instructors scrambling for alternatives—and the university's answer is a “virtual autopsy” Web site that offers fictionalized case studies (to protect patient identities) with slides ( That site, like many of those featuring virtual anatomy, is open to anyone.

  3. Hot Picks

    A hard rai. This year's Leonid meteor shower—a hail of debris from the trail of the Tempel-Tuttle comet—has been upgraded to a storm. But don't stay indoors on the night of 17 November: Astronomers predict that the storm will make for spectacular viewing, the best since 1966. For news on the upcoming storm and general meteor information, turn to∼leonid

    Going on record. Tens of thousands of years separate the first known records on stone and bone from today's speedy e-mail, and sandwiched in between are everything from clay tablets to papyrus to zip disks. Celebrating this information evolution is an exhibit at the University of Iowa Libraries, with an online version that features a bonanza of photos of early and modern writings, along with explanatory text.

    Intimate look at STDs. With the help of a swanky new database, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Los Alamos National Laboratory are hoping to give a boost to new treatments for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The site offers the genomes of the chlamydia and syphilis organisms, both completed in the last year, along with powerful search capabilities—all of which, its creators expect, will encourage feedback and new data from researchers.

  4. SITE VISIT: Calls of the Wild

    Howls, screams, whistles, and chirps haunt the Web site of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioacoustics and Environmental Research (CIBRA), where experts piece together links between animal sounds and behavior. Based at the University of Pavia in northern Italy, the 3-year-old site brings together information on the hardware and software used to study bioacoustics, along with comprehensive overviews of insect, mammal, and fish communication. And colorful spectrograms—visual analyses of a sound's composition—are provided alongside sketches of the animals.

    CIBRA's research focus is on underwater marine creatures—the center even has a contract with the Italian Navy to use its instruments and ships for study purposes—so it's no surprise that its finest pages detail work in this field. The main goal of the site, says Gianni Pavan, the ecologist who created it and who oversees bioacoustics research at Pavia, is to provide information on the challenges of studying bioacoustics in marine animals, which are both difficult to observe and to hear. But although many animals' migration and mating patterns might still puzzle scientists, their calls, be it beluga or otter, come to life at

  5. Science Online

    If you missed last week's News Focus and Editorial on the effects of embargoes on scientific communication, you can find them on Science's Web site, where nonsubscribers need only register to access them. Science's Next Wave is also running a forum on the issues they raise.

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