The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 18

September 3, 2004

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




Topic In Depth


The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

A professional scientific and medical nonprofit organization established in 1977, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) brings "together clinical and experimental scientists involved in the study of bone and mineral metabolism." The ASBMR website links to information about various research grants and other funding, awards, and membership. The site also contains an online job placement service and a membership directory. In addition, the ASBMR site provides a list of related links as well as information about Society meetings, news, and publications. [NL]

University of California-Berkeley: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Data Access

From the University of California-Berkeley, this website provides access to images and data in the institution's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology collections. Refreshed weekly, the data records are available to individual researchers and research groups. The search engine allows site users to search specimens in one or all of the following categories: Amphibians, Birds, Bird Eggs, Mammals, and Reptiles. In addition, the search engine specifies results by Complete Data Records, Tissue Records Only, or Type Specimens Only. The image search engine offers fields for Catalog Type, Scientific and Common Name, Locality, Image Number, and more. [NL]

University of Otago: Transterm

Supported by the University of Otago, the Health Research Council, and the Royal Society of New Zealand, Transterm is "an interactive database providing access to RNA sequences and their associated motifs. The RNA sequences are derived from all gene sequence data in Genbank, including complete genomes, divided into putative 5' and 3' UTRs, initiation and termination regions and the full CDS sequences." The Transterm website contains an extensive help browser with information regarding: the History and Direction of Transterm; Scan-for-Matches Pattern Rules; How Short Species Names are Constructed; RSCU Tables; and much more. [NL]

Goteborg University, Sweden: Checklist of Phytoplankton in the Skagerrak-Kattegat [QuickTime]

This online phytoplankton checklist was created by Mats Kuylenstierna and Bengt Karlson of Goteborg University, Sweden. The aim of the "checklist is to provide up to date information on phytoplankton and heterotrophic protests found in the Skagerrak and the Kattegat, N. Atlantic Ocean." The site contains 282 species sheets organized alphabetically in sections for Diatoms (Bacillariophyceae or Daitomophyceae), Dinoflagellates (Dinophyta), and other plankton. Species sheets include beautiful images and brief entries regarding Synonym(s), Size, Life-Form, Distinctive Features, Distribution, Literature, and more. The site also provides a taxonomic overview, an extensive list of references, and even a plankton movie. [NL]

Uppsala Universitet: Muscle Research Group [QuickTime]

Headed by Dr. Lars Larrson, the Muscle Research Group is part of the Department of Neuroscience at Uppsala Universitet, Sweden. The Muscle Group website provides brief summaries of the following research projects: Cellular Research; Molecular Research; Genetic Architecture; Health and Disease: Neuromuscular Disorders; and Motor Unit and Whole Muscle. Summaries are accompanied by figures, movies, and a list of relevant publications. The site also includes a collection of related research sites, and connects to an overview of research divisions in the Clinical Neurophysiology program at Uppsala Universitet as well. [NL]

International Society of Photosynthesis Research: The ISPR Photosynthesis Research Directory

One of the goals of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research (ISPR) "is to provide a clearing house for all things photosynthesis-related." One manifestation of this goal is the impressive ISPR Photosynthesis Research Directory, a publicly accessible database of researchers studying photosynthesis. As of 2001, the directory contained records for approximately 2,800 researchers. The "records include full name, last known address, phone, fax, email, web site, and research specialties." The website also allows unlisted researchers to submit an entry for the directory. [NL]


University of Iowa-Virtual Hospital: The Human Brain: Dissections of the Real Brain

Hosted by the University of Iowa's Virtual Hospital, this electronic publication was developed "to serve students of all the health and biological sciences who are seeking to understand the organization and functions of the human nervous system." The peer-reviewed publication was authored by Drs. Terence H. Williams, Nedzad Gluhbegovic, and Jean Y. Jew and includes chapters that address the spinal cord, cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, brainstem, and blood vessels. Chapters consist of concise sections accompanied by clear, instructive images. The hypertext also includes a preface, introduction, and bibliography. [NL]

University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse: TULIP [rtf]

In recent years, many educators have realized the importance of connecting their students to plants in hands-on ways. Embracing this educational approach, the TULIP Project (Teachers Using Living Plants) at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, is working to encourage the use of more plants in K-12 classrooms. In service of this goal, the TULIP website shares various resources and information with interested teachers. The site includes sections that briefly describe curriculum possibilities, projects and research, and collaboration with TULIP. The site also includes many related links, and information regarding funding for the TULIP Project. [NL]

Science Friday Kid's Connection: Hearing In Dolphins [RealOne Player]

Have you ever wondered how dolphins can hear so well through such small ear openings? Science Friday Kid's Connection provides middle school teachers with online resources to explore this fascinating topic with their students. The Kid's Connection website links to the original NPR Talk of the Nation: Science Friday radio program with Darlene Ketten, a senior scientist of biology at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The site also links to an assortment of educational websites, and contains an Academic Content Standards section with related standards and benchmarks for grades 6-8 as well. [NL]

Online Marine Picture Book [QuickTime]

This nice online introduction to marine life was created by Boris Masis during his eighth-grade year at Oyster River Middle School in Durham, New Hampshire. Mr. Masis developed this Marine Picture Book as a primer for students preparing for tide pooling field trips. The website runs as a slide show providing photos, brief descriptions, and movies for different marine phyla. Specific phylum covered in the site include: Porifera, Cnidaria, Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, and more. [NL]

Mid-Columbia Community Forestry Council: Trees for Kids

Hosted by the Mid-Columbia Community Forestry Council, this website features a series of educational activities designed to teach third- to fifth-graders about trees. The activities were developed through a Forestry Council Teacher's Workshop aimed at stimulating "urban tree stewardship in area youth." The resulting activities cover topics like leaf function, planting trees, plant pigments, tree growth, tree identification, and more. The brief activity plans generally include sections for academic standards, vocabulary, materials needed, and activity descriptions. In addition to the activities, the site includes a collection of tree-related quotes and poems, and a page of recommended books. The site also contains links to over twenty related websites. [NL]

Wildlife Habitat Council: Teaching Students About Backyard Conservation [pdf]

The lesson plans at this website were developed by Backyard Conservation, a program of the Wildlife Habitat Council aimed at teaching citizens "how to improve water quality and provide habitat for wildlife using conservation techniques developed on farms." The Backyard Conservation lessons are designed to "inspire students to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations by investigating local ecosystems." The website's multiple lessons were designed for third- to fifth-grade students, sixth- to eighth-grade students, and high school students. The lesson plans explore such topics as birds, pollinators, amphibians, local conservation laws, and native plant communities. Some of the lesson plans and supporting materials are only accessible as PDF files. [NL]


Native Plant Society of British Columbia: E-Flora BC

Developed by the Native Plant Society of British Columbia-in cooperation with the University of British Columbia's Spatial Data Lab and Herbarium-this website features a beautiful GIS-based atlas of British Columbia flora. Complemented by beautiful plant images, this electronic atlas is artful and well-organized. The atlas includes sections on plant groups, invasive species, floristics and vegetation, plant identification, and more. The atlas website also supplies information about project data, pilot projects, and other plant atlases. [NL]

Rehydration Project: Dialogue on Diarrhoea [pdf]

Diarrhea has long challenged world health workers. From 1980 to 1995, Healthlink Worldwide published Dialogue on Diarrhoea, an international newsletter that provided health workers and managers with practical advice on treating and preventing diarrheal diseases. Produced by the Rehydration Project, this website contains all 60 issues and 16 supplements of the publication over its 15-year run. In addition to providing online access to the newsletter, the site also offers the issues in a downloadable format. Site visitors may also locate specific information by consulting a comprehensive table of contents or by searching the issues by author, subject, or country reference. [NL]

Virginia Herpetological Society [pdf]

Displaying an earnest enthusiasm for their local herp populations, the Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS) proclaims itself to be a "society for everyone interested in the Education, Conservation, and Research of amphibians and reptiles." The main VHS site links to a host of resources including photos of, and information about, anurans, lizards, salamanders, snakes, and turtles. The site also links to such features as the Virginia Snake ID Guide, downloadable Virginia Herpetological Atlases, Marty's Timber Rattlesnake Summary, Species Accounts, and the Photograph of the Month. Site visitors can even test their knowledge with a fun photographic Virginia Herp Quiz. [NL]

The Regional Alliance for Information Networking: Rolling Your Own Sushi

The popularity of sushi as a delicious, nutritious food choice has grown considerably in the past decade. Created in 1994 by sushi enthusiast Mark S. Hutchenreuther of Oceano, CA, this website provides a nice overview of sushi-making materials and methods. The site contains brief sections that address Equipment Needed; Foodstuffs Needed; Pressed Sushi (Oshi-Zushi); Hand Rolls (Temaki); Boat Sushi; and more. The site also contains a short bibliography and recipes for making pickled ginger and Japanese mayonnaise. [NL]

Native Plants of Montara Mountain [jpeg]

It is always inspiring to find websites that have been created by a committed individual who is passionate about the site's subject. Developed by naturalist Chuck Kozak, Native Plants of Montara Mountain is just that type of website. Mr. Kozak has assembled a nice online field guide of plants native to Montara Mountain, a northern spur of California's Santa Cruz Mountains. The guide organizes plants by Family and Scientific name, Common name, or Color and Type. Site visitors can also find plants by using the alphabetically organized Master Index. The numerous plant entries include clear photos and brief descriptions. Although the website focuses on the flora of a specific area, many of these plants can be found in other geographic regions as well. [NL]

The Vegetarian Resource Group

The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) is a Baltimore-based, nonprofit organization "dedicated to educating the public on vegetarianism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics, and world hunger." Feature sections on the VRG site include: Vegetarian Nutrition, Vegetarian Recipes, and Vegan Information. The website also links to a free VRG online newsletter, an information section for activists, a catalog of vegetarian books for sale, and even a vegetarian game. The site's Vegetarian Family section connects to an email group for vegetarian parents, and to articles like A Senior's Guide to Good Nutrition; Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood; and Vegetarian Nutrition for Teenagers. [NL]

Topic In Depth

Food Preservation and Home Canning

1. Clemson University: Food Preservation and Safety
2. University of Georgia: Food Safety and Preservation
3. Michigan State University-Extension: Preserving Food Safely
4. National Center for Home Food Preservation: USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning
5. Penn State: Home Food Preservation
6. The Ohio State University: Food Preservation
7. North Dakota State University: Home Canning of Fruit and Fruit Products

The harvest season is upon us, and home canning fever has begun. The following websites share resources and wisdom regarding home canning, food preservation, and accompanying safety measures. From Clemson University, the first site (1) is a Food Safety and Preservation section housed in the university's online Home and Garden Information Center. This site is stocked full of online and downloadable information sheets regarding canning, freezing, drying, pickling, food borne illnesses, and much more. The site even contains documents addressing food safety after hurricanes, tornados, fires, and power outages. The second website (2), from the University of Georgia, links to numerous food preservation publications like Canning Pumpkin Butter and Mashed or Pureed Squashes; Making Apple Cider; Preserving Food: Using Boiling Water Canners; and Preserving Food: Freezing Animal Products-just to name a few. Hosted by Michigan State University-Extension, the third site (3) contains a comprehensive, alphabetized database on freezing, canning, and drying food (that was based on the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning). The fourth (4) site-hosted by the National Center for Home Food Preservation-contains the aforementioned USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning in downloadable units. From Penn State University, the fifth (5) site features a food preservation database, which connects site visitors to numerous links regarding safe home processing methods. The sixth site (6-) site contains a publication about home canning of fruit and fruit products. Notably, the publication provides processing times for different contents, amounts, and altitudes. [NL]

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