The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 4, Number 1

January 7, 2005

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




Topic In Depth


Elephant Seal Research Group: Elephant Seals of the Falklands [pdf]

This website presents information about a long-term behavioral ecology study of elephant seals in the Falkland Islands by the Elephant Seal Research Group (ESRG). The ESRG is "a small independent association of Italian researchers dedicated to the study of elephant seals." Begun in 1995, the research project is focused on the southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) of Sea Lion Island in the Falkland Islands. The website provides brief summaries of research activities including marking individuals, social behavior observation, male size and morphology, acoustic communication, and more. Summary information about the Sea Lion Island elephant seals population is included as well. The site contains downloadable copies of ESRG Scientific Papers and Reports as well as listings of Theses and Manuscripts. In addition, the site contains downloadable curricula vitae and email addresses for research team members. The site also links to a brief description of a second ESRG research study of northern elephant seals in Baja California, Mexico. [NL]

U.S. Forest Service-Rocky Mountain Research Station: Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute

Administered by the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute is devoted "to providing the quality, peer-reviewed research necessary to develop guidelines and management practices that assure sustainable wild ecosystems endure for generations to come." The Institute website provides information about numerous research projects, staff, conferences, and more. Site visitors can also browse, or search for, over 500 Leopold Institute publications of which more than 100 are downloadable. Publications may be also be ordered free of charge by email or post. In addition, site visitors can link to several databases including the Wilderness and Recreation Impact Database, Wilderness Invaders-Surveys and Databases on Invasive & Exotic Species; National Wilderness Preservation System Database; and Wilderness Stewardship Reference System: Legislative, Administrative, and Judicial, and Scientific Information. [NL]

Crop & Food Research

This website presents Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, "one of nine independent Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) founded in 1992 from a reorganisation of Government funded research in New Zealand." Manaaki Whenua has approximately 320 staff members engaged in research and they maintain collaborative relationships with universities and other CRIs. Manaaki Whenua's six main research areas include: Biodiversity, Biosecurity, Greenhouse Gasses & Carbon Sinks, Rural Land Use, Urban Environmental Management, and Sustainable Business & Government. The Manaaki Whenua website offers links to information about numerous research projects, publication lists, and services. In addition, the site links to great databases and collections for plants, fungi, and animals including the National Nematode Collection of New Zealand, the International Collection of Micro-organisms from Plants, and New Zealand Fungi (reported on in the April 18, 2003, NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences). [NL]

USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center: ARS Beekeeping Bibliography [pdf]

As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, the Bee Research Laboratory conducts "research on the biology and control of honey bee parasites, diseases, and pests to ensure an adequate supply of bees for pollination and honey production." One important service provided by the Laboratory is the searchable ARS Bee Bibliography, which contains bee-keeping related abstracts, summaries, and citations to periodicals, pamphlets, and books from 1905-1973. For more recent records, site visitors can link to Agricola, which contains more than 3.4 million agriculture-related citations from 1970 to the present. Site visitors can also access other sections of the Bee Research Laboratory site including the Beenome Database, staff email addresses, and downloadable publication lists. [NL]

Fox Chase Cancer Center: Research [pdf]

In 1974, the Fox Chase Cancer Center was designated as one the country's first comprehensive cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute. The mission of Fox Chase "is to reduce the burden of human cancer through the highest-quality programs in research and patient care, including cancer prevention, treatment, early detection and education." Current Fox Chase faculty research programs focus on molecular aspects of oncogenesis; cell cycle control; gene expression; viral molecular biology and pathogenesis; regulation and development of the immune system; and more. Specific research programs include Cellular and Development Biology; Prostate Cancer; Breast Cancer; Immunobiology; and Cancer Prevention and Control. From the research program pages, visitors can link to publication listings, research interests, and contact information for staff members. The website also provides information about Resources & Research Education, and the Fox Chase Postdoctoral Research Program. The Center's Talbot Research Library has a number of helpful resources for researchers as well including links to Databases, and Journal Holdings. [NL]

Allen Institute for Brain Science: Allen Brain Atlas [Macromedia Flash Player]

Developed as the initial project of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Allen Brain Atlas (ABA) "is intended to be the foundation for building and expanding neuroscience research by integrating genomic-based methodologies with world-class computer science and traditional neuroanatomy." Based on a mouse brain, the ABA provides access to "an extensive database of ISH images, ABA reference atlas, and gene expression masks. Future releases will allow users to search by anatomic region, gene expression pattern or level, and will contain an expanded gene set." The first data release of almost 2,000 genes occurred in December of 2004. The ABA website contains bios for Institute Principals, Core Team members, and Scientific Advisory Board members; and connects to Employment Opportunities listings as well. [NL]

The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting [pdf]

The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting (CRC) works "to assist Australian industry and agriculture in the areas of land use and land management through techniques to enhance carbon sequestration over the long term." Bringing together more than a hundred leading Australian greenhouse researchers, the CRC aims to support the development of both "national and global greenhouse policy and best practices." The CRC website includes downloadable Annual Reports for 2002-03 and 2003-04 as well as the Science Plan for 2003-06, and a variety of other publications. The site offers a Publications Database with search fields for Author, Source, Title, and Year. The site also offers summaries of the six CRC research programs, and brief descriptions of projects within the program areas. Site visitors can also peruse copies of eCarbon News which touch on CRC News, Australian News, World News, and Conferences. [NL]

University of Tokyo-Institute of Medical Science: Human Genome Center [pdf]

The Human Genome Center was established in 1991 at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Medical Science. In pursuit of progress in the areas of human disease diagnosis, care, and prevention, the Center conducts genome research in Japan and participates in "international activities in database construction, mapping, and sequencing of the human genome." The Genome Center website contains links to its nine Laboratories which conduct research in the following areas: Genome Structure, Sequence Analysis, Molecular Medicine, and DNA Information Analysis, to name a few. Laboratory pages contain information about research, publications, staff, and services. The Center site also links to a number of databases and software tools including a database of Japanese Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (JSNP), Microbial Genome Database for Comparative Analysis (MBGD), PSI-BLAST, TFBIND (software for searching transcription factor binding sites), and more. [NL]


Palomar College: Wayne's Word-Biology 101 Lecture Topics

This website was developed by Professor Wayne P. Armstrong as part of his online Biology 101 course at Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif. This site is also part of Professor Armstrong's larger website: Wayne's Word: An Online Natural History Textbook. The Biology 101 Lecture Topics site organizes lectures into five major categories: The Kingdoms of Life; Biochemistry and Cell Structure & Function; Mitosis, Meiosis & Life Cycle Patterns; Mendelian Genetics and Immunology; and Ecology, Adaptations & Population Growth. Lecture pages are well-written, and include a list of references as well as excellent photographs, diagrams, and illustrations. Examples of lecture topics include Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells; Archaebacteria & Life on Mars; The Five Kingdoms of Life; and Biomes of North America. Site visitors can also link to other sections of Wayne's Word including Botany lectures, and in-depth information about Duckweeds. [NL]

MIT OpenCourseWare: Foundations of Computational and Systems Biology, Spring 2004 [pdf, avi, Matlab]

This website presents resources from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computational and Systems Biology course offered in the spring semester of 2004. This site is part of the MIT OpenCourseWare project, which was developed to share MIT undergraduate and graduate course resources with the Internet community. This introductory course emphasizes "the fundamentals of nucleic acid and protein sequence analysis, structural analyses, and also serves as an introduction to the analysis of complex biological systems. It covers principles and methods used for sequence alignment, motif finding, structural modeling, structure prediction, and network modeling." The website contains downloadable lecture notes, assignments, and quizzes. The site also lists reading assignments, and links to a number of Computational Biology Tools and Resources. Note: RasMol software is needed to run .pdb files, and Python Interpreter can be used to run .py files. [NL]

University of Minnesota: Monarch Lab-Monarchs in the Classroom

The Monarch Lab website was developed by educators and scientists at the University of Minnesota to present information about monarch butterfly biology and research and to provide students, scientists, and teachers with an interactive forum for discussing monarchs. The site includes informative sections that introduce a variety of monarch research topics such as Growth & Development, Monarch Migration, Natural Enemies, Reproductive Biology, and more. The website shares great reports from studies conducted by Student/Teacher/Scientist teams around the United States. The site's Monarch Rearing section includes concise instructions for catching and rearing monarchs, making a cage, and even finding and growing milkweed. The site also offers information about the life cycle and distribution of monarchs; a Monarch Basic Biology Quiz with three difficulty levels; monarch research lesson plans for grades K-12; and information about entering a project in the Insect Fair. [NL]

Rainforest Action Network: Rainforest Heroes [QuickTime, RealPlayer, pdf]

From the Rainforest Action Network, this website provides kids and teachers with a place to learn about the world's rainforests, and how to protect them as well. The site offers information about rainforests using factsheets, a great educational slide show, a video, a glossary of related terms, and more. The site also contains a Heroes Corner which features brief reports about what students and teachers are doing to help protect rainforests. For budding activists, the site provides Action Alerts, a seven-step guide for helping out rainforests, and information about the Protect-an-Acre program. The site also includes selected rainforest artwork made by kids; recipes and craft ideas; and a list of recommended books. For teachers, the website offers a video and curriculum packet, as well as a variety of classroom activity ideas. [NL]

Wheeling Jesuit University/NASA-Exploring the Environment: Coral Reefs

From Wheeling Jesuit University and NASA-Classroom of the Future, this website introduces students to environmental challenges facing the world's coral reefs. This Coral Reefs learning module is part of the Exploring the Environment series (first reported on in the January 1, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) which present students with real-world environmental problems resulting from human activities. The Coral Reef site contains concise sections that address Biodiversity, Climate Change, Spheres (e.g. Anthrosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere), and Remote Sensing. The site's Teacher Pages provide support information for using the module including instructions for software-use, and objectives for Problem-Based Learning. The site also contains good-quality photographs, related links, and references. Other modules in the Exploring the Environment site include Mountain Gorillas, Florida Everglades, Yellowstone Fires, Temperate Rainforest, and more. [NL]

Howard Hughes Medical Institute: BioInteractive-Lecture Series [RealPlayer]

From the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), this website presents the 2004 Holiday Lectures on Science Series. The Series is titled the Science of Fat, and the site includes four webcast lectures by Drs. Ronald M. Evans and Jeffrey M. Friedman of the HHMI. Lecture titles include Deconstructing Obesity; Understanding Fat: Syndrome X and Beyond; Balancing the Fat Equation; and Exploring Obesity: From the Depths of the Brain to the Far Pacific. The original webcast was viewed live by high school students from around the Washington, D.C., area. Site visitors can also link to Holiday Lectures from past years addressing such topics as cancer, neuroscience, gender, biological time, microbes, RNA, and more. The site links to webcasts for a few Informal Talks about a variety of medical issues as well. [NL]

University of Leicester-Online Tutorials: How Now Mad Cow

This inquiry-based tutorial about Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow disease) was created by Dr. Alan Cann, of the Microbiology Department at the University of Leicester. The 18-slide tutorial presents visitors with a variety of information about the development of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The tutorial website also includes a summary page about prion diseases, and a glossary. This site connects to several other University of Leicester online tutorials as well including an interactive tutorial through which visitors can become a virus of their choosing. [NL]

The New York Times/Bank Street College of Education in NYC-Daily Lesson Plan: DNA-B-C's

What can DNA tell us about our evolutionary relationships to other mammals? This New York Times one-hour lesson (designed for sixth-12th grade students) explores this question with a Times article regarding the examination of genetic material to learn about a common 80 million-year-old mammalian ancestor. The lesson also explores important qualities and applications of DNA; and encourages students to develop methods for educating younger students about basic elements of DNA. The lesson was authored by Priscilla Chan, of The New York Times Learning Network, and Bridget Anderson, of The Bank Street College of Education in New York City. The website includes a lesson description; Academic Content Standards; and concise sections that address objectives, needed materials, extension activities, evaluation, and interdisciplinary applications. [NL]


BBC Gardening [Macromedia Shockwave Player]

From the BBC, this gardening website shares a plethora of tips and information with gardeners. Site visitors can search for advice on a wide variety of topics, and consult a number of straightforward guides that address soil improvement, planting, propagation, pruning, houseplants, watering, and more. The site also offers profiles for popular plants, and a searchable database with information about thousands of other plants. Parents and teachers will appreciate the site's educational gardening activities developed collaboratively with the Royal Horticultural Society for children between four and seven years of age. Site visitors can participate in the Gardening Message Board and sign up for the free BBC Gardening email newsletter as well. The site is full of great photos, and even offers visitors a downloadable virtual gardening exercise for experimenting with different planting and color schemes. [NL]

Meningitis Research Foundation [pdf, mp3]

Based in the United Kingdom, the Meningitis Research Foundation is a charity organization focused on the prevention and treatment of meningitis (and associated infections) through research and public education. The Foundation website describes common symptoms (with photographs); and contains a variety of specific information about meningitis and septicaemia. For health professionals, the site offers "guidance notes and protocols to promote best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with meningitis and septicaemia." The website's Research section contains separate Public Information and Scientific Information sections as well as separate Scientific and Layperson's Archive sections with reports from funded projects. The Foundation website provides audio and written information about meningitis and speticaemia in 18 languages. [NL]

NOAH-New York Online Access to Health: Arthritis and Rheumatoid Disorders

From New York Online Access to Health (NOAH), this website offers links to numerous Internet resources for Arthritis and Rheumatoid Disorders. Care and Treatment resource categories include Diet; Medications; Total Hip Replacement; and Alternative Therapies-to name a few. Websites relating to diagnosis and symptoms, as well as specific concerns like arthritis in children, and rheumatoid diseases and pregnancy are available as well. In addition, the site links to websites for a wide range of Rheumatoid Disorders such as Avascular Necrosis, Gout, Osteoarthritis, Vasculitis, and more. Site visitors can also link to Internet resources for other health issues on the NOAH website including Heart Disease, Infections, Cancer, Asthma, and Dental Care. [NL]

Society for Ecological Restoration International [pdf]

The Society for Ecological Restoration International (SER) is comprised of approximately 2,300 members working "to promote ecological restoration as a means of sustaining diversity of life on Earth and reestablishing an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture." The SER website links to information about membership; the upcoming 2005 Conference in Zaragoza, Spain; and Reading Resources including Journals, Guidelines for Developing and Managing Ecological Restoration Projects, and the SER Primer on Ecological Restoration. SER also hosts opportunity boards with listings for Professional Employment, Volunteer Opportunities; and Student/Intern Positions; an online marketplace with listings for vendors involved in ecological restoration; and the Plant Conservation Alliance's Directory of Restoration Expertise. The SER site posts boards for educational opportunities as well, including listings for University Programs, Continuing Education, Online Courses, and Children's Programs. [NL]

U.S. National Library of Medicine-Specialized Information Services: Haz-Map

Hosted by the National Library of Medicine, Haz-Map was created by Dr. Jay A. Brown as "an occupational toxicology database designed to link jobs to hazardous job tasks which are linked to occupational diseases and their symptoms." Haz-Map users can browse or perform text searches by Hazardous Agents (e.g. Solvents, Mineral Dusts, Pesticides); Occupational Diseases (e.g. Chronic Poison, Interstitial Lung Disease, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis); or High Risk Jobs (e.g. Food Processing, Printing, Metalworking & Plasticworking). Searches can also be made under the following additional categories: Symptoms, Industries, Non-Occupational Activities, Job Tasks, and Processes. The Haz-Map site includes a Glossary; and a References page with links to online books, databases, and websites. [NL]

Linda's Orchid Page

This attractive orchid website was created by long-time orchid grower and admirer Linda Fortner (aka the Orchid Lady). The site features the Illustrated Orchid Encyclopedia which contains information for approximately 400 genera including Genus Author; Date of Naming; Native Origin and Habitat; and Subfamily, Tribe, Subtribe, and Alliance. The website also contains a number of helpful information sections such as Growing Orchids in Your Home, Orchid Hybrids, Orchid Common & Latin Names, A Guide to Orchid Anatomy, and How to Re-Pot Orchids. In addition, the site features a photo gallery with beautiful images; and background information about orchids including a basic description, short history, and a taxonomic family tree. [NL]

International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing

The International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing (IAATH) "is committed to the continuing development of education, communication, support, and opportunities for all those interested in animal health care." The IAATH website contains information about a number of animal treatments and therapies such as Acupressure, Animal Communication, Homeopathy, and Massage Therapy-to name a few. IAATH also provides a Practitioner Directory with search fields for Name, Location, and Modality. In addition, the site includes information regarding membership, related links, and a selection of recommended resources. Case Studies will be added to the site in the near future. [NL]

North American Native Plant Society

The North American Native Plant Society (NANPS) is dedicated "to the study, conservation, cultivation and restoration of native plants." The NANPS website lists plant sources by region, and invites native plant growers to submit a listing for no charge. The site provides information about upcoming events across Canada and the United States; scholarship opportunities; related associations by region; publications; membership; and more. NANPS also maintains a message board, and offers information about a number of native plants including Walking Fern, Bottlebrush Buckeye, Musclewood, Lilies, and Smaller Fringed Gentian. NANPS runs a Seed Exchange for members as well. [NL]

Topic In Depth


Russian Academy of Sciences-Zoological Institute: Beetles (Coleoptera) and Coleopterists
Coleoptera Home Page
Coleopterists Society
University of Texas-Austin: Water Beetle World
Michigan State University/Michigan Sea Grant Extension: Purple Pages
Thornton Jr. High School-Insecta Inspecta World: Scarab Beetles
Iowa State University-Entomology Image Gallery: Beetles

The beetles, or Coleoptera, are so abundant that it is said that one in every five living species on earth is a beetle. This Topic in Depth explores the vast insect order of Coleoptera. From the Zoological Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the first site (1) contains beautiful images and information sections regarding Morphology and Anatomy, Taxonomy and Phylogeny, Distribution, Collections, and Publications. The second (2) site was created by Vratislav Bejsak-Colloredo-Mansfeld (of the University of Sydney) for beetle collectors, researchers, ecologists, entomologists, and others interested in beetles. The site contains links to a Coleoptera Bibliography; Coleoptera Databases and Catalogues; A Glossary of Entomological Terms; Images and Sound Library; and more. The third (3) site presents the Coleopterists Society, an international organization devoted to the study of beetles. The website contains information about the Society, upcoming meetings, prizes and awards, beetle conservation, resources, and news. From the University of Texas in Austin, the fourth (4) website presents Water Beetle World, the Newsletter for aquatic Coleoptera workers. The Newsletter serves as a forum for workers to share publication announcements, images, species checklists, resources, and more. The fifth (5) website presents the Purple Loosestrife Project, which was developed collaboratively by Michigan State University and Michigan Sea Grant Extension. The Project, designed for K-12 teachers and students, as well as other concerned citizens, involves the use of certain beetle species to help control the spread of Purple Loosestrife, and encourage the recovery of native vegetation. From Insecta Inspecta World, a project of the Honors Academy at Thornton Jr. High School in Fremont, CA (reported on in the October 18, 2002 NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences), the sixth (6) site shares concise information about, and several great images of, Scarab beetles. From the archives of Iowa State University's Entomology Image Gallery, the final (7) site contains a collection of good-quality Coleoptera images including bean leaf beetles, blister beetles, wireworms, flea beetles, corn rootworms, weevils, and ladybird beetles. [NL]

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