I’m not familiar with any literature on the matter, but I’m fairly certain that there is a correlation between students’ interest in new scientific concepts and the use of animations to explain those concepts. Fortunately for students and teachers alike, Sumanas has developed a nice library of scientific animations that are free to use, as long as users link to the HTML file displaying the animation (as opposed to directly linking to the movie files). The animations span ten disciplines: general biology, microbiology, biopsychology/neuroscience, astronomy, chemistry, molecular biology, general biotechnology, ecology, statistics, and environmental science. The perfect addition to any lecture, the animations are truly beautiful, informative, and don’t take long to download. There is accompanying narration that can be turned on or off, and many of the animations also have related quizzes.