The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 8

April 16, 2004

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison




Topic In Depth


National Council for Science and the Environment: PopPlanet

Representing a partnership between the National Council for Science and the Environment and the Population Reference Bureau, "PopPlanet is a resource of up-to-date country specific information on key population, environment, and health issues." Designed as an information tool for researchers, policy makers, and others, this site includes information on biological resources, health services, and more. The site links to the PopLine Bibliography database from John Hopkins School of Hygiene as well as Public Health and Country profiles for many nations. This site also links to the Population and Environment Linkages Service, (last reported on in the Scout Report for Science and Engineering April 26, 2000) which includes over 14,000 links to reports, articles, and many other resources. Additionally, site visitors can link to PopEnvironment News which provides population news analysis from the Communications Consortium Media Center. This site is available in Spanish, French, and English. [NL]

Ghent University: Marine Biology Section [pdf]

This website features Ghent University's Marine Biology Section. The Section's homepage links to information on research, publications, section staff, and more. Involved in marine ecosystem research since the 1970s, some of the Marine Biology Section's current interests include: Atlantic Ocean Deep-sea Areas, Biology of the Antartic Meiobenthos, Ecology of Tropical Estuaries and Lagoons, Ecophysiology of Meiobenthos, and more. The site links to basic information about recent research projects as well as information on environmental management research for coastal zones, sampling and analyses equipment, and one available database focusing on marine Nematoda and Mysida. The site provides research interests and contact information for faculty, and a list of publications and Ph.D. Theses from 1969-2003 (with PDF files for publication abstracts from 1994 on). The site also offers a list of relevant links. [NL]

The Natural History Museum of London: The Global Lepidoptera Names Index

Created by the Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum of London (NHM), this website features The Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex). The Index currently contains a total of 223,214 names spanning 16 superfamilies such as Acanthopteroctetoidea, Bombycoidea, Cossoidea, and Simaethistoidea -- just to name a few. The site is quite comprehensive providing sections on History of the Card Index, Current Coverage of LepIndex, How to Cite LepIndex, References Cited, and more. An important resource for lepidopterists around the world, LepIndex contains approximately "98% of all Lepidoptera names published between 1758 and 1981, plus misspellings and misidentifications..." Additionally, LepIndex links to other sections of the NHM and Department of Entomology including other databases, information about staff, and more. [NL]

The Jackson Laboratory: The Mouse Genome Sequence Project

Part of the Mouse Genome Informatics program (last reported on in the NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences on March 19, 2004) at the Jackson Laboratory, this website presents The Mouse Genome Sequence (MGS) project. MGS is designed "to integrate emerging mouse genomic sequence data with the genetic and biological data available in MGD and GXD." The site links to Eukaryotic Genome Annotation Projects, as well as Sequence Analysis Tools including MouseBlast and Genome Analysis. The site also offers basic background information about the Mouse Genome Sequencing Initiative, and provides site users with access to groups involved in mouse genome sequencing, the BAC clone library, request forms for targeted sequencing, and more. [NL]

Genome Refereed Research [pdf]

This website from (last reported on in the NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences on October 17, 2003) presents Refereed Research, which "publishes peer-reviewed research in all areas of molecular, cellular, organismal, and population biology that are informed by genomics." Research articles can be located by date and subject within the categories of Software, Methods, and Refereed Research. Articles can be viewed in abstract or full text form as well as downloaded as PDF documents. Some articles also link to PubMed and related articles. Recent examples of published refereed research include: Hotspots of mammalian chromosomal evolution, Comparative Genomics of Gene-Family Size in Closely Related Bacteria, A Transcriptional Timetable of Autumn Senescence, and more. The site also links to background information on publishing and instructions for authors. [NL]

The Norwegian Reference Centre for Laboratory Animal Science & Alternatives [pdf]

This website presents the Norwegian Reference Centre for Laboratory Animal Science & Alternatives, which is "dedicated to the collection and spread of information on alternatives to the use of lab animals in research, education and teaching." The site offers information about, and links to, multiple databases that provide alternatives to animal testing. A main feature of this site is the award-winning NORINA database, which provides audiovisual alternatives to the use of animals for training and teaching. The site also offers TextBase, a searchable database of current laboratory animal science textbooks designed to promote "more frequent use of literature within the field, and therefore to improved laboratory animal welfare." Additionally, links are provided for upcoming and past scientific meetings and numerous related sites. The site also offers a simple virtual tour of the laboratory unit with photos and descriptions. [NL]

University of Washington: GeneTests

This GeneTests website "is a publicly funded medical genetics information resource for physicians, other healthcare providers, and researchers, available at no cost to all interested persons." The GeneTests site features Gene Reviews, an online publication of expert-authored disease reviews. The site also offers international directories of genetic testing laboratories and genetics and prenatal diagnosis clinics. Some new site features include Expanded Molecular Genetics in Gene Reviews, and Printable Resources. The site also offers usage statistics and is currently posting 4,603 daily hits for Gene Reviews and an impressive 16,536 daily hits for their Laboratory Directory. [NL]

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute -- Information for Researchers

Hosted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), this website provides a plethora of helpful information and resources for researchers. The site provides abstracts for NHLBI supported research from 1972-present, which also links to the NIH CRISP Database. Online research resources include Programs for Genomic Applications, Available Epidemiology and Clinical Trials Data Sets, as well as links to the NIH Obesity Research Web Site. The site also provides links to other research resources including databases, biologic resources, and training opportunities. In addition, the site links to the NHLBI Population Studies Database, information on the Framingham Heart Study, a section on Workshop and Meeting Summaries, and much more. [NL]


MIT OpenCourseWare: 7.012 Introduction to Biology, Fall 2001 [pdf]

Created by faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), this website features an Introduction to Biology course designed for undergraduates from the fall semester of 2001. This is one of many free on-line publications of course materials provided by MIT as part of ifs OpenCourseWare project (last reported on in the NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences on March 19, 2003). This course "focuses on current research in cell biology, immunology, neurobiology, genomics, and molecular medicine." The website includes PDF files for Lecture Notes, Exams and Solutions, Practice Exams, and Problem Sets with Solutions. [NL]

Health Education Assets Library

This site presents the Health Education Assets Library (HEAL), "a digital library of freely accessible, web-based multimedia teaching materials that meet the needs of today's health sciences educators and learners." Titles of some of the materials available at HEAL include MedlinePlus Interactive Health Tutorials, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Illustrations, and NeuroLogic Exam: An Anatomical Approach. To assist site users in locating health sciences files, the site provides a search engine with multiple search options like media type, keywords, contributor information, and more. Site users can also browse indices by subject or collection. Additionally, the site offers information about HEAL, including history, team members, and publications. [NL]

Science Friday Kid's Connection: Lewis and Clark [RealOne Player]

This Science Friday Kid's Connection: Lewis and Clark website was developed as an educational component for NPR's Talk of the Nation -- Science Friday radio program. This site offers middle school teachers quality curriculum resources and ideas based on the topic of the radio program. The site focuses on plant and animal specimens that Lewis and Clark collected on their famous expedition, and provides numerous links to related educational websites. The site also contains an Academic Content Standards section for Grades 6-8 that supplies specific standards and benchmarks for the subject areas of Science, Geography, and more. Additionally, the website offers access to the original radio program which included guests like Richard McCourt, associate curator of botany at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. [NL]

University of British Columbia: Fish On Line

Hosted by the University of British Columbia, this website contains Fish On Line, a draft guide for teaching and learning about ichthyology. The "guide provides a structure and case study material for a computer-based course in ichthyology for upper undergraduates and graduate students in biology or environmental science. The key resource made accessible through this guide is FishBase, a large database on the biology of fish, available on CD-ROM (for Windows operating system) and on the Internet (" The site provides brief introductory sections to the field of ichthyology and to FishBase, as well as chapters on Evolution, Morphology, Reproduction, and more. The site also offers supplementary exercises accompanying each chapter, and an extensive list of related links. [NL]

University of Arizona-The Biology Project: Blood Types Tutorial

Created by the Biology Project at the University of Arizona, this website features an interactive Blood Types Tutorial. In addition to well-crafted problem sets, this site offers information about blood types, inheritance, and Rh factors. The problem sets for this tutorial were created by using edited versions of questions sent to the Biology Project from curious site users. The questions were answered by Rick Hallick, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Arizona, and site visitors can compare their answers with Dr. Hallicks as they work through the problem sets. The Tutorial even provides site users with a Blood Type and Rh Factor Calculator for determining the possible blood type of a child based on the blood types of their parents. [NL]

University of California -- Museum of Paleontology: Understanding Evolution

This is a neat website from the University of California - Museum of Paleontology designed to help teachers explain evolution to their students. The homepage presents a sitemap artfully chalked out on a blackboard with two main categories: Learning Evolution and Teaching Evolution. The Learning Evolution category links to sections on Nature of Science, Misconceptions, History of Evolutionary Thought, and more. The Teaching Evolution category provides sections on Overcoming Roadblocks, Potential Pitfalls, Teaching Evolution, and Reading and Resources. The site even offers a section titled, Not Sure Where to Start? Start Here!, as well as a Glossary of relevant terms. [NL]

University of Leicester-Online Tutorials: Virology Time Machine

This online tutorial from the University of Leicester greets site visitors with space-agey music, a black screen, and a mysterious introduction to the Virology Time Machine. Site visitors are encouraged to select a time from a pull-down menu offering virtual travel into many years throughout history including 4 billion years ago, 1885, 1949, and more. The destinations in time yield brief pages - accompanied by time -- appropriate music and clear images that highlight important moments in virus history as well as other notable events from that year. From each time destination, users can link to a past year, future year, or back to the present. [NL]

PBS Nature Lesson Plans: Characteristics of Snakes and Turtles

This PBS-Nature Online website presents a well-organized lesson plan about the Characteristic of Snakes and Turtles for grade levels 1-4. Recognizing the wide range of developmental stages between grades 1-4, the site notes that various parts of the lesson are more appropriate for certain ages and should be adapted based on the grade level and abilities of your students. The site contains an overview of the lesson including Learning Objectives as well as Standards and Benchmarks for the subject areas of Life Sciences, and Technology. The website provides a Procedures For Teachers section which details lesson activities spanning multiple class periods. This section also contains a list of supplementary sites for the lesson, materials needed such as computer resources, and extension activities. For students, the site provides three printable sheets for the lesson including a Reptile Information Sheet and a Reptile Word Search. [NL]


Cornell University-Sugar Maple Research and Extension Program [pdf]

From Cornell University, this website features the Sugar Maple Research and Extension Program. The site provides great information, photos, and activities for maple syrup producers, students and teachers, and other maple syrup enthusiasts. The Syrup Production section has information on a variety of topics including How Does Sap Flow through Maple Trees?, Maple Recipes and Nutritional Information, Evaporator Designs: Old and New, and more. The site also features four virtual tours covering such aspects of maple syrup as sap collection, sap processing, syrup production history, and sugar bush management. In addition, the site offers a page on Frequently Asked Questions and a list of relevant links. [NL]

The Natural History Museum of London: Darwin Centre-Live [Windows Media Player, QuickTime]

Another innovative creation from the Natural History Museum of London, this Darwin Centre-Live website allows site visitors to "meet Museum curators and researchers to find out about their work, recent scientific discoveries and the Museum's vast collections." The site provides a Calendar of Events which provides times, dates, and descriptions for events that will be shown live on the internet. Site visitors can also view videos from the extensive archive containing over 100 Darwin Centre Live events. Some examples of archived live events include features on Dangerous Fishes, DNA and Genetics, Parasites, Images of Nature, and many more. [NL]

Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center: Organic & Integrated Fruit Production [pdf]

Part of the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, this website offers various resources for orchardists interested in organic and integrated production methods. The site contains sections on Organic Fruit Production, Soil and Pest Management, Apple Replant Disease, and more. The site also offers links to other Washington State University sites for Horticulture, Entomology, Fruit Pathology, and Postharvest resources. Many of the documents on this site are available for download as PDF files. [NL]

National Park Service: Nature & Science [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

This great Nature & Science website from the National Park Service (NPS) was recently redesigned, and offers visitors a wide variety of information about how the NPS uses science to protect natural resources. The site links to main topic areas for Biology, Natural Sounds, Water, and more. The Biology section includes short informational features on Migratory Birds, Invasive Species Management, Threatened and Endangered Species, and Wildlife Health and Disease -- just to name a few. The main site also links to sections for Students and Teachers, Protecting and Restoring, Science and Research, and more. [NL]

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: Influenza [pdf]

Hosted by National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and authored by Dr. William J. Martone, this website provides a variety of information about Influenza. The site offers short sections on Research, Influenza: Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment, What is Influenza?, and more. The text is accompanied by links to tables, charts, and graphs, and the entire document is available for download. The site provides a list of online References as well. [NL]

Tom Clothiers Garden Walk and Talk

This impressive website was created by long-time gardener Tom Clothier as an archive for numerous gardening articles, germination databases, and photos. The 314 pages in this online archive were "developed as a public service in the spirit of cooperative extension." The site is free of advertisements and was designed to accommodate children researchers as well. The website provides information on seed starting, garden design, aphids, native pollinators, and much more. The site also offers an extensive photo album of Mr. Clothiers flowers which are listed by Scientific Name, Common Name, and Variety / Color. [NL]

The Texas Rose Rustlers

Rose enthusiasts take note: this artful website presents the Texas Rose Rustlers, "an organization dedicated to the collection and propagation of old roses." The Rustlers have been working since the early 1980s to revive interest in old rose varieties. The Rose Rustlers have accomplished this goal by working to locate old rose specimens, take cuttings, and increase their numbers through propagation. The website offers an abundance of information about rose rustling and old roses including sections like Rose Rustling: Pointers and Suggestions on How to Find and Collect Roses, Propagation, Old Rose Bibliography, Reference Information, and more. The site hosts a Rose Exchange and offers beautiful illustrations of old roses as well. [NL]

American Zoo and Aquarium Association -- The Bear Den [java]

This kid-friendly Bear Den website, hosted by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, provides young site visitors with a wide variety of information about bears. The website, developed with bear conservation in mind, provides basic information pages for all eight species of bears including Spectacled, Sun, Sloth, and Asiatic Black bears. The site also offers an assorted Collection of Facts on Bears, a simple Match the Bears memory game, a short Bear Quiz, and a list of bear-related links. [NL]

Topic In Depth


The Provincial Museum of Alberta: Eggs-A Virtual Exhibition
University of Illinois-Extension: Incubation and Embryology
National Geographic: Dinosaur Eggs
Stanford Alumni Association: Eggs and Their Evolution
Chicago Academy of Sciences: An Egg-cellent Adventure
Sacramento Zoo: All About Eggs
American Egg Board: Welcome to the Incredible Edible Egg Web Site

The focus of this report's Topic in Depth section has long been an evocative symbol of the spring season: fertility (and, yes,even good food). The following websites examine different aspects of this natural beauty: the egg. The first (1) site from the Provincial Museum of Alberta presents a virtual egg exhibit featuring "an on-line field guide with over 300 egg images as well as information on egg biology and a touch of egg trivia." This artful site offers links to information about Oology, Egg Diversity, Nesting, and more. The second (2) site, from the University of Illinois Extension features an abundance of hands-on incubation and embryology lesson plans and activities for grades K-12. The third (3) site, from National Geographic, provides fascinating information about fossilized dinosaur eggs while taking site visitors on an online egg hunt. Hosted by the Stanford University's Alumni Association, the fourth (4) site presents information about Eggs and Their Evolution with sections on Incubation, Average Clutch Size, DDT and Birds, and more. From the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the fifth (5) site, presents An Egg-cellent Adventure: a simple 50-minute hands-on lesson about different vertebrates that lay eggs. Created by the Sacramento Zoo, the sixth (6) site is colorful, kid-friendly, and offers basic information about eggs, nests, and even monotremes. The seventh (7) site, the Incredible Edible Egg Web Site, is an American Egg Board creation and features sections on Egg Recipes, Egg Industry Information, Egg Safety, and more. [NL]

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