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Taking science to the net


If Michaël Imbeault got a dollar – even a dime – every time somebody visited his new website, he’d be rich. But the Université Laval doctoral student says he’s satisfied, for now at least, with the knowledge that he’s providing a free service that is helping people everywhere learn more about his favourite subject – science.

“I’ve been getting lots of feedback and it’s all positive,” says Mr. Imbeault about e! Science News (, a website he launched in April that posts daily press releases and related links that deal with science from around the world.

Mr. Imbeault, a biochemist pursuing his PhD in retro-virology and bio-informatics at Laval’s medical faculty, does computer programming as a hobby. His new site has grown rapidly in popularity, reaching up to 10,000 hits a day by early October.

The site is updated daily – automatically, without human intervention – using free open-source software called Drupal. With a bit of custom coding from the Laval student, the software is able to find, define and upload press releases and news links according to eight specified categories.

Copyright is not an issue, he says. The sites he’s using for the information are happy for the exposure.

It’s not his only website. He also created, four years ago, The success of that site enabled Mr. Imbeault to generate enough ad revenues to launch e! Science News, which has as its tagline, “Your daily dose of Eureka.”

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