The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 4, Number 11

May 27, 2005

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




Topic In Depth


Electronic Publications at the University of Helsinki [pdf]

This website offers downloadable doctoral dissertations authored by students at the University of Helsinki. The Faculties of the University, Helsinki University Library, and Helsinki University Press collaborated to make this service freely available to the Internet public. Examples of dissertation titles recently added to the site include: Links between insulin, inflammation and subclinical macrovascular disease in type 2 diabetes; Urban woodland ecology; Post-breeding effects of feeding on reproduction in gilts and sows; and Behavioral and morphological variation in European grayling, Thymallus thymallus, populations. Site visitors can browse an extensive array of alphabetically arranged dissertations written in a variety of academic departments including Animal Science, Virology, Clinical Medicine, Food and Environmental Hygiene, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Applied Zoology, and more. [NL]

UC-Davis: Compositdb-Compositae Database

Compositdb is a database of information on Compositae species that was developed jointly by the laboratories of Richard Michelmore at UC Davis and Steve Knapp at Oregon State University. At present the laboratories "are primarily focused on sunflower and lettuce but will expand it to include any Compositae species for which there is sufficient data and interest." In addition to Lettuce and Sunflower Databases, the site links to several locally developed Tools like Genoplayer, a "program for visualizing and querying genetic data." Although Compositdb was initially supported by the USDA-ARS, the project is currently lacking funding. Thus, multiple sections of the site have not been updated in more than a year. Nonetheless, this storehouse of Compisitae-related information will surely be of interest to agronomists, geneticists, botanists, and others. [NL]

Online Library of Lepidoptera Resources [pdf]

This Online Library of Lepidoptera Resources is provided by the International Lepidoptera Survey, a nonprofit "organization devoted to the discovery, determination, and documentation, of new butterflies and moths around the world." The regularly updated Online Library (in pdf format) currently holds 33 pages of hyperlinked titles alphabetically arranged by author. The free publications in the Library span several decades and include Contrasting dynamics in the same plant-herbivore interaction; Petaluma, a new genus, with the description of a new species; A study of the Riodinid butterflies of the genus Dodona in Nepal (Riodinidae); and Composition and relative abundance in a temperate zone butterfly fauna, to name a few. Articles listed in the Library appear in such publications as the Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,The Taxonomic Report, and Annals of the Entomological Society of America.[NL]

Cichlid Research Home Page

The Cichlid Research Home Page was developed by Professor Ron Coleman of the Biological Sciences Department at California State University, Sacramento. The website offers information and resources for hobbyists, scientists, and budding researchers interested in cichlid fishes. The site provides information about Coleman's research including descriptions of two ongoing investigations, the Cichlid Egg Project and the Cichlid Mouthbrooder Project. For visitors just learning about cichlids, the site offers several helpful sections including Introduction to Cichlids, Cichlid Anatomy, Cichlid Names, a Cichlid Glossary, and a section about Becoming a Cichlid Researcher. The site also offers a FAQ page, and Dr. Coleman invites targeted queries from college, high school, and elementary school students. The website lists a number of upcoming conferences, and contains an email directory of hobbyists and scientists interested in cichlids. The site contains an extensive collection of related links as well. [NL]

Herpetologists' League [pdf]

Founded in 1936, the Herpetologists' League (HL) "exists to promote scientific study and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. The primary goals of the League are to support the acquisition of knowledge about these organisms, and to transmit that knowledge through publications, conferences, and symposia." Hosted by the Illinois Natural History Survey, the HL website contains contact information for current League Officers, as well as information about membership, and the upcoming Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. The site also presents the HL scholarly journals Herpetologica, and Herpetological Monographs. Site visitors can link to BioOne to view abstracts of articles appearing in current and past issues of both publications. For those wishing to submit an article, the site contains Instructions for Contributors in pdf format. The site also contains a Graduate Studies Page with several advice articles for students such as Publishing in Scientific Journals, and Tips for Giving a Talk. In addition, links are provided to related organizations like the Chelonian Research Foundation, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. [NL]

Silent Spring Institute [pdf]

Named after ecologist Rachel Carson's landmark book, Silent Spring, the Silent Spring Institute (SSI) is a "scientific research organization dedicated to identifying the links between the environment and women's health, especially breast cancer." The SSI website contains descriptions of several research projects including the Cape Cod Breast Cancer and Environment Study, Geographic Information System Exposure Assessment, Groundwater and Drinking Water Initiatives, and Household Exposure Study. SSI also makes a number of downloadable publications available including journal articles and issues of the Institute's own Silent Spring Review. The site posts relevant news stories from a variety of sources, and contains a sizeable News Archive as well. In addition, the site offers a great many annotated links, and a glossary with pertinent medical, scientific, and environmental terms. [NL]

Reproductive & Cardiovascular Disease Research Group

The Reproductive & Cardiovascular Disease Research Group is "based in the Department of Biochemistry and Immunology at St. George's, University of London." The Group's "research interests include a number of areas concerned with reproductive and cardiovascular diseases such as trophoblast biology, nitric oxide and apoptosis, with particular emphasis on the role of these subjects in diseases of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia." This website contains descriptions of protocols commonly utilized by the Research Group such as DNA laddering, Comet Assay, Immunoprecipitation, and Caspase Assay, to name a few. This site also contains informative sections concerning Nitric Oxide, Apoptosis, and Trophoblasts. The website includes a list of publications, and email addresses of group members as well. [NL]

University of Minnesota Insect Collection [pdf, EndNote]

During the past 125 years, the holdings of the University of Minnesota Insect Collection "have grown from a regional collection of 3,000 specimens to a major national and international resource of almost 3,400,000 specimens." Specimen loans are available to researchers by request, and the Insect Collection website provides a list of Loan Conditions. The site also contains information about Collection holdings in separate pdf files listed by order. In addition, the website provides information about faculty and research associates and various projects in the areas of Revisionary and Monographic Studies, Faunistic and Biodiversity Studies, and Phylogenetic Studies. Collection databases include the UMSP Trichoptera Holdings Biota Database and the Neotropical Trichoptera Literature EndNote Database. [NL]


Food Security Learning Center [pdf]

From World Hunger Year (WHY), this online Food Security Learning Center was created to provide site visitors "with an in-depth look at common hunger and poverty issues facing many U.S. communities." The Food Security Learning Center contains subject categories regarding Rural Poverty, Domestic Hunger & Federal Food Programs, Family Farms, Migrant & Seasonal Farms Workers, and Nutrition. The site also contains a Community Food Security section with subcategories pertaining to Community Supported Agriculture, Community Gardens, Food Policy Councils, Farmers' Markets, Farm to Cafeteria, and more. In addition, the Center links to several funding opportunities, an extensive Hunger & Poverty Resource Guide, and current Action Alerts. [NL]

The Tapir Gallery: Especially for Students

Are you looking for information about tapirs? The Tapir Gallery website (first reported on in the September 15, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) is as an information resource about tapirs from the Tapir Preservation Fund. This section of the Tapir Gallery site is designed specifically for students searching for information about tapirs for school reports and other such assignments. The site offers basic information about the four species of tapir: Mountain, Malayan, Baird's, and Lowland. The site provides a collection of links to more information about each of these species as well. The website also contains images of tapirs, a list of interesting facts, an extensive bibliography (mostly useful for professionals and older students), and a FAQ section. [NL]

American Rose Society: Rose Care Articles

This website from the American Rose Society offers a variety of online articles about caring for roses, and related rose information. The site includes articles under such categories as Planting Roses, Pruning Roses, Spraying Roses, Propagation of Roses, Diseases of Roses, Watering, and many more. In regard to rose varieties, article categories include Old Garden Roses, Miniature and Mini-Flora Roses, Old(er) Roses-the Classic Roses, and Shrub Roses. The site even features articles on the culinary uses of roses with recipes for Rose Ice Cream, Rose Petal Salad, and Rose Jelly Cookies. Aficionados will no doubt enjoy viewing photographs of The World's Favorite Roses in the site's Rose Hall of Fame. Visitors with questions will appreciate the directory of Rosarians who will answer region-specific as well as topic-related queries. [NL]

IPM Super Sleuth [pdf, Microsoft Word, Macromedia Flash Player]

Integrated Pest Management is an agricultural approach which works to minimize the use of pesticides. This interactive, kid-friendly website was created by the IPM Institute of North America to teach students in grades one through seven about Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The site utilizes a combination of word searches, crossword puzzles, matching and concentration games, and quizzes to introduce IPM concepts. The complete 114-page IPM Super Sleuth Document is also available for download. Site activities can be downloaded separately as well. For teachers and parents looking for additional information resources related to IPM, the site provides a helpful selection of annotated links. [NL]

Evolution & the Nature of Science Institutes: Becoming Whales [pdf]

From the Evolution & the Nature of Science Institutes, this archived website contains a 45-minute lesson about evolutionary links between whales and terrestrial mammals. Through the lesson, high school biology students "experience the historical discovery of fossils which increasingly link whales to earlier land-dwelling mammals. This experience reveals how scientists can make predictions about past events, based on the theory and evidence that whales evolved." The lesson website contains concise sections addressing Principal and Associated Concepts, Assessable Objectives, Preparations, and Procedures. Downloadable materials for the lesson are provided as well. The site also includes a useful collection of Extensions and Resources. [NL]

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: The History of Public Health [mp3, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer]

This Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) course about the history of public health is offered free to the Internet public through the JHSPH OpenCourseWare program. The course (taught by Graham Mooney during the spring semester of 2005) examines "the historical experience of health and illness from a population perspective." The site provides a brief description of the course, a downloadable reading list, and lecture notes available in MP3 format. Lecture headings include Quarantine!; Body Spaces: From Inoculation to Immunization; Education and Mothering; The Sanitary Idea; and more. Forthcoming JHSPH OpenCourseWare courses include Fundamentals of Genetic Epidemiology, and International Nutrition. [NL]

Science for Kids: Breaking News

This online collection of kid-friendly science news stories is part of the Science for Kids website from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is a great resource for introducing students to the amazing world of scientific discovery. The site currently contains 97 stories in chronological order dating from June 2003 to the present month. The science stories address a wide variety of subjects such as dinosaurs, cheese color, tiny marine animals, brown bear migration history, glowing bacteria, and many more. Kids can link to the stories by browsing an annotated list of hyperlinked titles. The brief stories include photographs with captions, contact information, and printing and email options. [NL]

National Association of Agricultural Educators [pdf, Microsoft Word]

The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) "seeks to advance agricultural education and promote the professional interests and growth of agriculture teachers as well as recruit and prepare students who have a desire to teach agriculture." In addition to information about membership and the upcoming NAAE Convention, the site features resources and information relating to advocacy. The Advocacy section contains Legislative Alerts, information about communicating with members of Congress, and downloadable issues of the NAAE's Advocacy in Action Newsletter. The NAAE website also offers an electronic mailing list, and information about a variety of scholarships and awards. [NL]


African Elephant Specialist Group [pdf]

The African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) operates under the auspices of the Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The AfESG is composed "of technical experts focusing on the conservation and management of African elephants. The broad aim of the AfESG is to promote the long-term conservation of Africa's elephants and, where possible, the recovery of their population to viable levels." The AfESG website contains useful information for conservationists, wildlife managers and others such as a number of downloadable Human-Elephant Conflict Reviews and Case Studies; African Elephant Status Reports (from the years 1995, 1998, and 2002); and a small section of Tools for Elephant Management and Research. Site visitors can also peruse (or download) current or back issues of Pachyderm, a peer-reviewed, scientific journal focused on management and conservation issues concerning Asian and African rhinos, as well as African elephants. [NL]

Our Stolen Future

Based on the book, Our Stolen Future, this website (first mentioned in the March 8, 2002 NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences) provides information and updates regarding endocrine disruption. The site is produced by zoologist John Peterson Myers, one of the book's authors. Our Stolen Future, originally published in 1996, "examines the ways that certain synthetic chemicals interfere with hormonal messages involved in the control of growth and development, especially in the fetus." For those unfamiliar with the book, the site offers a Book Basics section with summaries of the chapters, excerpts, central points, and more. The website also contains a New Science section with subsections on Disease Resistance, Wildlife Impacts, Broad Trends, and Reproduction, to name a few. In addition, the site offers a collection of annotated links as well as links to recent news stories, and reports on pertinent scientific studies. [NL]

The Micropolitan Museum

Hosted by Microscopy UK, the Micropolitan Museum exhibits wonderful images of microorganisms developed by photomicrographer Wim van Egmond. Museum visitors can peruse images in the Freshwater Collection, Marine Collection, and Insectarium. Exhibitions within the first two collections include such crowd-pleasers as the Foram Factory, Diatom Display, Water-flea Circus, Desmid Dome, and more. A highlight of the Insectarium is the small, yet dazzling, Insect Wings exhibit. The beautiful and clear images displayed in the Museum are accompanied by brief captions. Stay tuned for the next Museum feature: the Botanical Garden! [NL]

Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario

Hosted by Bird Studies Canada, this site contains an online version of the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, a publication based on information collected between 1981 and 1985 involving "the efforts of over 1,300 volunteers who collectively carried out more than 180,000 hours of field work." The Atlas was published in 1987 by the Long Point Bird Observatory and the Federation of Ontario Naturalists. The site is nicely laid out with a hyperlinked Table of Contents which connects visitors to the many sections of this comprehensive and substantial Atlas. The publication contains Species Accounts for a multitude of birds such as the Wood Duck, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Boreal Owl, Winter Wren, and many more. The Atlas also contains sections on the Biogeography of Ontario, Conduct of the Survey, and Atlas Results. In addition, this site links to a larger Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas website with information about a nearly completed five-year data collection project that will result in a second edition of the Atlas. [NL]

HIV Medicine 2005 [pdf]

From Flying Publisher, HIV Medicine 2005 is a free, online "medical textbook that provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the treatment of HIV Infection." This edition is an update of the 2003 version of the textbook (reported on in the June 13, 2003 NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences). Chapter titles in the textbook include HIV Testing, HIV and Pulmonary Diseases, Mitochondrial Toxicity, HIV and HBV Coinfections, and Traveling with HIV, to name a few. The textbook is available in both German and English. Please note that while certain sections of the 2005 edition are currently available, many sections are still in the process of being published on the site. Sections from the 2003 edition are standing in for some of the forthcoming 2005 sections. The entire 352-page 2003 edition is available for download at this site as well. [NL]

Grass Manual on the Web

This extensive source of information on grasses is derived from the Manual of Grasses for North America, a project that has received support from Utah State University and a host of other organizations including the Flora North America Association, National Science Foundation, US Forest Service, National Park Service, and more. This online Manual provides information about a multitude of species from Achnatherum aridum to Zoysia pacifica. Information options for most grass species include Map, Illustration, and Treatment. For the majority of species listed, Synonymy and Notes have yet to be added. The site also links to information about the Manual of Grasses for North America project, as well as the Utah State University Intermountain Herbarium. [NL]

The American Society of Mammalogists

Founded in 1919, the American Society of Mammalogists (AMS) is an organization, composed primarily of professional scientists, that promotes mammal study. The members of AMS also work to provide "information for public policy, resources management, conservation, and education." A notable ASM site feature is the Mammal Image Library which provides "images of mammals for educational purposes worldwide." The ASM website also contains information about two main publications, The Journal of Mammalogy and Mammalian Species (reported on in the September 17, 2004 NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences). Other site offerings include an online job board, an announcement board, information for undergraduate and graduate students, and information about ASM Grants & Awards. [NL]

Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

From Conservation International, this Biodiversity Hotspots site (first reported on in the October 18, 2002 NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences) "was re-launched in 2005 with completely updated information as presented in the new book Hotspots Revisited." The updated Hotspots website features profiles of more than 30 ecologically important areas of the world. Hotspots are categorized under five world regions including South America, Africa, North and Central America, Europe and Central Asia, and Asia-Pacific. Site visitors will find profiles about such Hotspots as the Himalaya, Mediterranean Basin, Horn of Africa, Tropical Andes, Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands, Sundaland, and more. In addition to regional profiles, the site offers a number of helpful resources such as a Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Database, a Glossary, Maps, and related References. [NL]

Topic In Depth

Urban Wildlife

Urban Wildlife Rescue: Humane Eviction
A Natural History of North Central Texas: Urban/Suburban Wildlife
University of Minnesota: Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute: Observing City Animals
National Wildlife Federation: Backyard Wildlife Habitat
Audubon Society of Omaha: The Bluebird BoxNest Boxes
PBS: The Wild Side of New York

The city is often characterized as the antithesis of wilderness. At the same time, many urban areas are home to large populations of various wild animals. In an effort to learn more about the animals living in our midst, this Topic in Depth takes a look at websites concerned with urban wildlife. The first (1) site, from Urban Wildlife Rescue, briefly describes problems related to trapping and relocating wild animals. The site also offers Humane Eviction suggestions for squirrels, foxes, raccoons, beavers, and skunks. The second (2) site, from A Natural History of North Central Texas, contains a selection of annotated links relating to wildlife in urban and suburban areas. From the University of Minnesotas Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability, the third (3) site contains information about beneficial arthropods as well as information about managing a variety of insects found in trees and turf. The fourth (4) site, from the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, contains a lesson plan focused on observing urban wildlife. From the National Wildlife Federation, the next (5) site presents the Backyard Wildlife Habitat program which helps people create more places for urban wildlife through gardening and landscaping. The sixth (6) site, from The Bluebird Box, contains links to instructions for various bluebird nest boxes. The site also contains links to a number of articles about bluebirds and other birds. From the PBS-Nature archives, the seventh (7) site contains the companion website for a program titled The Wild Side of New York. Although the site is quite brief, it does contains a list of resources for further exploration. [NL]

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