The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - November 26, 1997

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

November 26, 1997

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

The target audience of the new Scout Report for Science & Engineering is faculty, students, staff, and librarians in the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Each biweekly issue offers a selective collection of Internet resources covering topics in the sciences, and related fields such as math and engineering, that have been chosen by librarians and content specialists in the given field of study.

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering is also provided via email once every two weeks. Subscription information is included at the bottom of each issue.

In This Issue
The Scout Report
* Research * Current Awareness
* Learning Resources * New Data
* General Interest * In the News

Energysearch is a new search engine launched by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to allow users to browse for information from the energy industry instead of the entire Internet. Energysearch was designed using Infoseek's Ultraseek Server software. The database contains over 180,000 documents from more than 500 sites. Users enter search terms and choose between searching the energy database or the entire Internet. Users can further refine their search from the given set of results. Results can be sorted by date and a hidden summary option is available for faster scanning. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Database on Introductions of Aquatic Species--FAO
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has compiled this searchable database from data collected in a mid-1990s survey of regional aquatic professionals from around the world. Users can view an input form, add a record to the database, and view the summary statistics. The Statistics link provides summary tables of species introductions; categories include: species, groups of species, continent, year, reason (for introduction), introducer, established in the wild, as aquaculture species, ecological effects, and socio-economic effects. Searches can be based on genus, species, location, reason for introduction, year of introduction and other characteristics. A glossary of terms and links to related sites is available. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

The Molecular Modeling Electronic Conference (TMMeC)
US Mirror
This electronic conference, sponsored by the Montevideo Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Universidad de La Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay, is slated as a combination of a conference and a journal. Journal articles address "methodological and computational developments that allow or facilitate the computing of structure, reactivity and properties of isolated or interacting molecules." The conference aspect of the site promotes communication of ideas in the field via various multi-media formats and encourages speed of intellectual communication, as well as open and public discussion about that communication. Each issue of TMMeC contains a Table of Contents (TOC), an editorial, peer reviewed articles, reviews, proceedings, and news and information. Volume 1, Issues 1 and 2 are currently online. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Molecular Probes
Supported commercially by Molecular Probes, this site provides an overview of molecular probe technology as well as a searchable bibliography, a list of related literature, and an outstanding photo gallery with examples of probe applications. The Gallery contains 22 different categories, from Actin and Tubulin Probes to Yeast and Other Fungi Stains, with several images provided for each category. A help link provides tips on using some of the probes and stains, a list of FAQs, and a list of more general technical questions related to probe technology. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

Particle-Surface Resources on the Internet
Dr. Mark Shapiro at California State University, Fullerton, created this site as a clearinghouse of information about particle-surface physics. Over 150 information resources are divided into four categories: mailing lists, gophers, and FTP sites; WWW sites, including conference home pages; job openings; and special notices (non-commercial). Resources offered include databases, a program for molecular dynamics, and homepages of leading laboratories. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources
Undergraduate Semester Abroad - Organization for Tropical Studies
US Mirror
Based in Costa Rica and administered partly through Duke University, the Organization for Tropical Studies has long been an important training ground for graduate students in tropical biology and conservation. Now, for the first time, the unparalleled resources and facilities of this organization are available to undergraduates. This site provides a detailed description of the course content, expectations, and itinerary, as well as comments from past students and instructors. The well-organized OTS parent site allows prospective students to see images of the OTS biological stations and learn about the biology, geography, and culture of Costa Rica. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

C400 Chemical Information Sources and Services--IU
The Chemical Information Sources and Services course at Indiana University is designed to introduce students to a wide variety of chemical information sources, including printed tools, commercial databases, and Internet resources. The topics covered in the course are: Communication in Chemistry, How and Where to Start, How and Where to Search, both General and Specialized, and a Miscellaneous section that covers chemical history, biography, directories, and industry sources. Lecture notes and outlines are available for each topic but may be revised prior to the date of the lecture. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Virus Ultra Structure
Linda Stannard of the University of Capetown, South Africa, has composed a page which, although it was intended to serve as an introductory manual for students of virology, can be appreciated by a wide audience. A section on the principles of virus architecture uses text and outstanding graphics to provide an introduction to why viruses look the way they do. Other parts of the site emphasize how virus shapes and structures are "seen" and recorded with sections on negative staining and electron microscopy of DNA- and RNA-containing viruses. This site's success relies on the use of well-chosen graphics and the inclusion of interesting factoids such as the following: "The head of a dress-maker's pin can provide seating accommodation for five hundred million rhinoviruses (cause of the common cold)!". [DF]
[Back to Contents]

A Virtual Engineering/Science Laboratory Course--JHU [Java]
Michael Karweit of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University created this online laboratory to simulate engineering and science laboratory projects. The site is used in a course entitled What is Engineering?, a beginning science and engineering course. The experiments and exercises use JAVA to create interactive simulations. Certain experiments also include MPEG movie sequences. The virtual laboratory is under development so not all of the exercises are completely functional. Exercise topics include creating logic circuits, diffusion concentration models, underground topology, forces of bridge trusses, robotic arm control, and estimating the number of trees from a Landsat satellite image. All the exercises provide a brief introduction to the problem and some directions on running the experiment. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Global Contamination, Wildlife Health, and Biotechnology
Constructed by Albert Sollod and David Proulx of Tufts University Veterinary School, this site provides background on the history of environmental contamination, a primer on the many sources of pollution currently harming our environment, and brief descriptions of how these pollutants threaten humans and wildlife. The site is peppered with hypertext links to related sites as varied as those dealing with dioxins, heavy metals, PCBs, a biography of Rachel Carson, monarch butterfly conservation, and a database of toxic substances. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest
Atlas of Cyberspaces
Martin Dodge at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London created this collection of cyberspace maps to illustrate the digital landscapes of the global communications networks. The maps are divided into eight categories: Conceptual, Geographic, Topology, Info Maps, Info Landscapes, ISP Maps, Web Site Maps, and Historical. Some highlights include maps showing the use of and the network of cyberspace in the US and around the world (in Geographic); examples of maps of individual web sites and links to the companies that created them (in Web Site Maps); and the development of ARPANET and the Internet (in Historical). Visitors can register for the free Geography of Cyberspace Update Bulletin. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Environmental Estrogens and Other Hormones
This site addresses the growing public and wildlife health concern surrounding estrogen-mimicking compounds or environmental estrogens (EEs). These are synthetic and natural substances that can alter or interfere with the endocrine system, causing health and reproductive problems in wildlife and possibly in humans. Created by Bill Webb and housed at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research of Tulane and Xavier Universities, this site provides detailed information about EE chemical structure, exposure levels, sources, and how EEs interact with animal endocrine systems. This searchable site also contains a news section with recently added information, and links to related sites. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

Bad Science
Bad Science is Pennsylvania State University Meteorology Professor Alistair Fraser's attempt to debunk the misconceptions of well-understood phenomena perpetuated by teachers and writers. Bad science does not cover topics about which there is still controversy. Fraser provides his reasons for why it is difficult to "reeducate" the public about common misconceptions of science. Astronomy, chemistry, meteorology, and physics are the topics for which bad science myths are presented and debunked. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Amber: Window to the Past--AMNH
A once-arcane branch of paleontology, the study of ancient life trapped in fossilized tree resin has experienced a renaissance in the last few years. The Amber site depicts this arena of scientific investigation with stunning images and clear, accessible text. Users learn that DNA can indeed be preserved within organisms trapped in amber for millions of years and that both vertebrates and invertebrates are found in amber deposits. Images and text describe human use of amber for art and ornament for over 13,000 years. Many samples of amber are featured containing a variety of organisms, from termites to geckos to feathers, visible in well-reproduced images. This site stems from an exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

Montana Maps Interactive
Montana Maps Interactive is a new tool provided by the state's Natural Resource Information System (NRIS). The program shows a variety of geographic information layers for the state of Montana. Users can view cities, natural and political features, national parks and forests, and various types of land use, among other features. Maps can be zoomed in or out. The feature query allows users to locate features from a layer (e.g. streams or land use) by selecting the layer and then identifying the feature on the map or by letting the program find the feature given its name. The map is then redrawn with the selected feature highlighted in yellow and its attributes listed above the map. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

Congressional Research Service Reports What's New?--NIE NLE
The National Institutes for the Environment National Library for the Environment (discussed in the October 18, 1996 Scout Report) provides this service which allows users to browse and read the latest reports from the CRS on topics ranging from automobile fuel economy, to African elephants, to peanut policy issues. Users can search or browse archived reports on (1) natural resources, including agriculture and grazing, biodiversity, energy, forestry, mining, and marine and wetland/aquatic systems; and (2) environmental quality, including air, climate, pesticides, pollution, waste management, and water quality. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

Federal Geographic Data Committee Calls for Comments
Geologic Map Symbolization and Standard for a Geologic Data Mode
Utilities Data Content Standard
The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is soliciting public comments on three draft proposals for developing standards for Geological Map Symbolization, Geological Data Model, and a Utilities Data Content Standard. If accepted, the first two standards will be applicable to all Federal agencies collecting and portraying geological data. The third will move toward "developing a utilities standard that supports intracity applications such as large-scale engineering and life-cycle maintenance of utility systems. The calls for public comments, full text, and deadlines for the proposals are available. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

BIOSIS Conference Calendar for Zoology
Maintained by the publisher of Biological Abstracts, this Conference Calendar contains current and upcoming national and international conference announcements as well as archived conference announcements from 1996 to the present. [DF]

8th International Symposium on Dynamic Games and Applications
This symposium, organized by the International Society for Dynamical Games, is being held in the Netherlands July 5-8, 1998. Topics for the symposium include H-infinity control and robust controller designs, stochastic games, and environment, energy, and resource management. A tutorial on Learning in Games will be presented on July 4. Four plenary lecturers are scheduled for presentations on dynamic games. The deadline for submission of papers and invited sessions is January 2, 1998. The homepage for the conference also includes information on the conference venue, registration, and hotel reservations. [KH]

Stormwater and Related Modeling Retreat and Management and Impacts Conference
The 31st annual retreat and conference will be held February 16-20, 1998. It is sponsored by six groups from the US and Canada, including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy. The workshops will provide hands-on experience with US EPA's EPANET2.0, WASP5.0, SWMM4.4, and CHI's RainPak '98 and PCSWMM '98. The conference will discuss the management and impacts of stormwater and related modeling. The conference is geared towards those interested in water quality modeling and environmental engineering dealing with point and non-point source pollution management. Abstracts of papers are due January 30, 1998. [KH]

Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology II (UMH II)
The Technical University Mining Academy Freiberg, Department of Geology, is hosting UMH II, an international conference and workshop for engineers, scientists, regulatory groups, and members of the mining community, to discuss the threat to groundwater by uranium mining and processing. The conference will be held in Freiberg, Germany, September 15-17, 1998. Topics covered at the conference will include the longterm effects of tailings, hydrogeochemical interactions, and sustainable rehabilitation. The official languages of the conference are English and German. The conference will conclude with a field excursion. The deadline for submission of a 1-2 page abstract is February 13, 1998. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Job Openings in Science and Technology from the Chronicle of Higher Education[JS]
[Back to Contents]

Funding Opportunities
National Science Foundation Bulletin
Edited by Christina Bartlett-Whitcomb, the NSF Bulletin provides monthly (except July and August) news about NSF programs and funding opportunities, deadline and target dates for submission of proposals, current publications, position announcements, and meetings and conferences as well as sources for more information. [DF]

Major Research Instrumentation Program: Instrument Development and Acquisition Solicitation (NSF 98-16)
The Office of Science and Technology Infrastructure is soliciting proposals for the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program. The MRI Program seeks to improve instrumentation for scientists, engineers, and students. Proposals for the current solicitation should be for "development of new instruments with enhanced performance." All fields of science, engineering, and mathematics, except for disease-oriented research, will be considered. A 30% cost sharing of total project costs is required. An electronically submitted proposal is due January 30, 1998 and a paper copy is due February 5, 1998. Further information about the format and eligibility requirements are available at the site in addition to review and selection criteria. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

New Data
The TIGR Rice Gene Index (OGI)
This searchable (by gene name or sequence) index represents an integration of data from around the world. The goal of this site "is to represent a non-redundant view of all rice genes and data on their expression patterns, cellular roles, functions, and evolutionary relationships." Users can generate reports for individual ESTs, assemblies of ESTs (TCs) or EGAD transcripts (ETs). Links at the site explain how the database was constructed and list the references used. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

New Global Seafloor Topography from Satellite Altimetry--NOAA
These new images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration's National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) were updated by H.F. Smith and David T. Sandwell. Eight images, including a caribbean view of the North Atlantic, an Indian Ocean view, and a World view are available in three formats. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Brazilian Amazon Data
Gustavo Negreiros of the University of Washington has made a portion of his data set available to Web users at this site. The data set consists of soil profile descriptions and mining processes data in the form of maps of mining licensing patterns in different parts of Brazilian Amazonia. The raw soils data (in various formats) are available and both sets of data are accompanied by their source references. [DF]
[Back to Contents]

Total Daily Ozone--BAS
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) releases weekly ozone bulletins that list values for preliminary mean daily total ozone and provisional monthly mean total ozone. Data is obtained from the BAS stations in Halley and Rothera and the Ukrainian Antarctic Research Centre's Vernadsky station. The latest release came out November 21, 1997. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Galileo Solid State Imaging Full Data Releases--G2
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released updated SSI (Solid State Images--discussed in the September 12, 1997 Scout Report) of Galileo's second orbit of Jupiter (G2). [JS]
[Back to Contents]

In the News
Space: NASA and the Final Frontier
2. The NASA Shuttle Web
3. Shuttle/Mir
4. Mars Global Surveyor
5. Mars Pathfinder
6. Cassini Homepage
7. Galileo Homepage
8. Space Telescope Science Institute
In the News this week covers the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its many missions. Featured in this week's In the News are eight NASA and NASA related sites that describe current happenings at NASA and also provide homepages of NASA missions including the Cassini space probe, the Mars Global Surveyor and, most recently, the launch of the Columbia space shuttle. Space exploration provides clues to how the solar system was formed, why life exists on earth and not on other known planets, and what the structures of the universe, matter, and energy are.

(1), contains the latest information and news releases from NASA missions. Visitors can also find out information about NASA's four strategic enterprises: Aeronautics, Human Exploration and Development of Space, Mission to Planet Earth, and Space Science. (2) The second site is the official homepage of the Columbia space shuttle. Activities of the current mission, STS-87, include launching of the Spartan satellite to study the Sun's corona and solar wind, microgravity experiments, and a spacewalk. (3) The Shuttle/Mir site describes the cooperation, investigation, and operation components of the Shuttle/Mir project. Visitors can also find the latest space station news, information on the crew, videos, photos, and tracking information (through Hot Borsht). (4) The Mars Global Surveyor was launched on November 7, 1996 to begin a mapping mission from a close, circular orbit of Mars. Press releases, the latest information, images, flight status report, and data are available on the homepage. (5) The Pathfinder homepage provides all of the latest information and images retrieved from the Pathfinder mission. Data from the extended mission is currently being processed and will be released when it is available. (6) The Cassini mission was in the news recently as it was set to take off for its seven year journey to Saturn, powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), or plutonium "batteries." At the Cassini homepage, visitors can learn about the science behind the Cassini mission, the mission itself, the Cassini spacecraft, and how the mission will be operated from Earth. What's Hot and What's New provide the latest information about the mission. Visitors can also learn about why RTGs were necessary for the mission, why they are considered safe by NASA, and what the original and supplemental environmental impact statements say. (7) The Galileo homepage hosts a wealth of information about the Galileo mission to Jupiter. Included are images, the latest news, educational resources, and frequently asked questions of the mission. Visitors can also learn about the spacecraft and the Jovian system (Jupiter and its moons). (8) Last, but certainly not least, is the Space Telescope Science Institute site, an archive of Hubble Space Telescope images and information that provides an astounding portal to the Earth, Solar System, galaxy, and universe. The site features the latest pictures from the telescope, along with information about new findings, information about the telescope, and an archive of images. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Subscription and Contact Information

To subscribe to the Scout Report for Science & Engineering, send email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe SRSCIENG

For subscription options, send email to:
In the body of the message type:

Internet Scout team member information:

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering
Brought to You by the Internet Scout Project

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering is published every other Wednesday by the Internet Scout Project, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences.

Susan Calcari
Jack Solock
David Flaspohler
Kathryn Harris
Jeannine Ramsey
Managing Editor
Assistant Editor
Assistant Editor
Production Editor

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-1998. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The Internet Scout Project provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison or the National Science Foundation.

Internet Scout
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project

Comments, Suggestions, Feedback
Use our feedback form or send email to

© 1999 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.