Protein Structure Taught via Web

Reproduced with copyright permission from Scientific Computing World - Issue 8 MAY 1995
"The first international science education course to be offered on the World Wide Web" is the claim for the new "electronic correspondence course", VSNS Principles of Protein Structure, administered by the UK's Birkbeck College, London, in association with the World Wide Web educational organization, the Globewide Network Academy.

This is the Academy's second course, its initial course in C++ programming having won educational awards last year. Its new partner, the Dept.of Crystallography at Birkbeck College, which is organizing the protein structure course, specializes in the experimental determination of the 3-D structure of protein molecules using X-ray crystallography.

The technology required to access the course includes Windows PCs, at least one WWW browser such as Netscape, and WWW viewers for protein-structure MIME-types, such as RasMol and KineMage.

The 250 students, researchers and professors who have signed up for the course come from 27 countries, mostly in Europe and North America.

Graphical and hyper-text material for the course has been supplied by 30 experts in protein structure, many of whom also contribute to email discussions and tutorials. As an alternative to email, up to 10 students at a time can discuss course work in "virtual classrooms" using the BioMOO electronic conferencing system.