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A MUD (multi-user dungeon) is a virtual meeting place which contains objects and people which behave (in principle!) in a similar way to real-life equivalents. The system is based on rooms which can conatin objects and where people can meet; in general peoples' activity is restricted to the current room. A MOO is a MUD built on Object-Oriented principles.
MOOs have great potential for educational purposes and professional communication and one has been specifically created by Gustavo for biologists. It is regularly used for biologists to meet and hold events, such as seminars and journal clubs. Gustavo Glusman (who is a director of VSNS) Eric Mercer and others have developed a graphical interface to BioMOO and are making rooms available for this course.
Info pages at BioMOO, WWW Virtual Library
Some sample clients and where to get them:
More Clients at Microserve