June 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 11)
Strong Points: Combination of photos with diagrams to explain material
Weak Points: None
Many scientists today work in a laboratory environment designed to study the small things. Micropipette in hand, researchers slave for weeks, months, or years over a few microliters of solution that contain molecules indiscernible to the naked eye. Conditioned to marvel at invisible molecular machinery, it may be easy to overlook the wonders that are right in front of our faces. Or on our faces. When was the last time you appreciated your nose? Or thought about your extraordinary ears? Developmental biologists study the transformation from microscopic cells to tissues and organs, and Embryo Images is a wonderful site that offers a glimpse of that metamorphosis. Pairing scanning electron micrographs with anatomical diagrams, this website through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides a great introduction to the development of various organs and systems in mouse embryos. The blending of different types of images and accompanying text makes for a seamless instructional unit that is both informative and easy to follow.