January 15, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 2)

URL:
http://heimanlab.com

Rating:
Strong Points: Very engaging and humorous
Weak Points: Somewhat limited set of allowed prompts

Summary:

I can almost guarantee you that you’ve never seen a lab website quite like this one. Dr. Max Heiman of Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital introduces web-wanderers to his research on cellular morphology within the nervous system of C. elegans in an atypical way. Namely, site visitors are offered a “choose your own adventure” of sorts in which visitors enter commands in response to the website’s prompts in order to navigate the website. For example, when presented with “there are microscopes on the table,” one might enter “go to microscope.”  The results are both engaging and hilarious, due to humor sprinkled in unexpected places. (Half the fun is exploring the site to discover these gems on one’s own, so I’m not going to spoil them here.) And of course, site visitors get to learn about the lab’s research along the way. There is also a link to the plain version website…but why would you go and do that?