January 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 2)
Strong Points: Animations
Weak Points: More content needed
This company appears to be specializing in 3-D media and although the main focus seems to be on research and the life sciences, there are other projects on the site. The organelle section, for example, when activated, shows a rotating 3-D image (in Java) of budding yeast with internal organelles. The designers chose to keep the image simple, which is good for educational purposes (for which it is intended), but is disappointing from a technical perspective. Users can click on boxes depicting sub-sections of the image for more info and the entire figure can be rotated and zoomed. Another model of the yeast cell cycle was similarly designed, though it showed an animation of the process instead of a rotating still image. Overall, the quality of the videos was adequate for undergraduate instruction, but there just weren’t enough of them. The company needs to get to work producing more of these for their site to be of broad general interest.