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Web notes

The Paleontology Portal was reviewed in "Surfing the Net with Kids" on 03/14/2007 and received a top rating. "Surfing the Net with Kids" is syndicated nationally and appears in many papers across the U.S. including the San Diego Union-Tribune and The Boston Globe.

Each month, new items are highlighted on both the UCMP and the Understanding Evolution (UE) websites, so visit these home pages often! The current feature on the UCMP site (www.ucmp.berkeley.edu) is a research profile on faculty curator, Sheila Patek and her work on Costa Rican trap-jaw ants. Video clips of the escape jumps and the bouncer defense of these ants give you a look at their amazing behavior that is the focus of her research. On the first of each month, the UE site highlights Evo in the News focusing on hot topics in science and making the connections to evolution implicit. "Got Lactase?" was the April feature, examining the question "Why do so many babies enjoy milk and so many adults avoid it?" Other highlighted features included "Biological warfare and the coevolutionary arms race" written by grad student Becky Williams. This article portrays the research of Dr. Edmund D. Brodie, Jr. and his exploration of the ten-thousand-year evolutionary battle between toxic newts and the snakes who dine on them.

And yet another compliment to the quality of the Understanding Evolution materials: the American Museum of Natural History initiated a new online evolution course, which ran from March 19 to April 29. The course was authored by evolutionary biologists Niles Eldredge and Joel Cracraft and heavily drew on many Understanding Evolution materials.

And finally, the Understanding Science project is progressing nicely, and our initial modules will be available for limited release this summer. We are very grateful to Vice Chancellor for Research Beth Burnside and Dean of Biological Sciences Geoff Owen for their very generous support of this new resource. Thanks to them, we will be able to hire two graduate students — one in the physical sciences and one in the life sciences — to work with us on the project this summer and fall.