Feedback: Good news for frogs

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The Independent Online
THE MOST fun, fashionable and unreliable service on the Internet is the World Wide Web, usually known as 'Mosaic' after the program most often used to access it, writes Andrew Brown. The program as distributed logs the user into the University of Indiana in Urbana Champlain, where it was developed. One of the services available there is a frequently updated list of 'What's new on the Web'.

My eye was caught there by a project in Berkeley, California, which offers a virtual frog in various stages of dissection. There are pictures of its skeleton, nerves and many of the internal organs. Eventually the idea is that these will be viewable like holograms, from any angle, so that students can learn biology painlessly. No doubt this is good news for frogs. But as I studied the drab little yellow and green pictures on screen, with their simplistic captions ('The Brain: this organ processes input from the nerves.'), the reduction of biology to a sort of digital cartoon strip seemed terribly sad news for humans.

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