The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - March 18, 1998

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

March 18, 1998

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

Dioxin and Related Compounds--EPA NCEA [.pdf, WordPerfect]
This substantial new site, provided by the Environmental Protection Agency's National Center for Environmental Assessment, addresses the mechanism of Dioxin contamination and describes NCEA's Dioxin Reassessment efforts. The site provides full descriptions and molecular graphics of "Dioxins and related compounds" (Furans, PCB's), as well as EPA Summaries on Dioxin exposure, Dioxin risk, and dose response. The Dioxin Exposure Initiative seeks to quantitatively link dioxin sources to general population exposures using "source measurements, environmental media and national food surveys, and fate and transport modeling." Further links to EPA Regulations and EPA Analytical Methods round out the site. Note that many of the documents at the site are available in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) or WordPerfect format. [LXP]
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Living Reviews in Relativity
Living Reviews in Relativity is a free refereed electronic journal published by the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein Institute). The journal currently contains four articles on quantum gravity, numerical cosmology, and Einstein's equations. Topics covered in future articles will include gravitational wave detection and astrophysics. Articles can be searched based on author, keyword, title, journal, year, and format. Users can choose to have the results output to the screen or as an email message. An email alerting service is available to notify readers of the publication of new articles. [KH]
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Three Journals from HighWire Press
The Plant Cell
Plant Physiology
HighWire Press
Full text of these three journals, provided by the American Gastroenterological Society and the American Society of Plant Physiologists, has been made freely available (through the end of 1998) by Stanford University's HighWire Press (discussed in the November 8, 1996 Scout Report). Full text is available since December 1997 for the first, and since January 1998 for the latter two. Selected abstracts and/or table of contents are available for previous issues. The trial period for the first journal ends in July 1998, and for the latter two December 1998. After those dates, the journals will be available only by individual or institutional subscriptions, but access to tables of contents, abstracts, and full text searching will continue to be available to the public. [LXP]
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Probability Abstract Service
The Probability Abstract Service, provided by the Mathematics Department at the University of Washington, sends a compilation of abstracts approximately every two months. Users can subscribe to the email service or read the abstracts on the web. Contact information or preprints are provided. An archive of all abstracts is available. A search feature allows users to perform keyword searches of the abstract database. The service also solicits abstracts from authors. [KH]
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Index Nominum Genericorum--SI
The Index Nominum Genericorum is a collaborative project of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) and the Smithsonian Institution. ING was formed to bring all generic names of plants together in a single list, revealing homonymy between groups. This searchable database includes bibliographic citations, as well as information about the "typification and nomenclatural status" of generic names. For researchers or students of taxonomic botany, this site provides a useful, though highly specific, service. Note that the on-line version of ING will be modified to reflect new listings and taxonomic changes. [LXP]
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Created by Jim Richardson from the University of Sydney to index mathematics and statistical web pages, MathSearch currently allows users to search over 90,000 pages residing on English language mathematics and statistics servers. Users specify up to four phrases that should appear on the page. MathSearch returns the webpages containing the specified terms plus a summary of occurrences for each specified word. Returned results include, but are not limited to, tables of contents, Mathematical Department and course homepages, and society homepages. [KH]
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Correction: North American Breeding Bird Survey: Results and Analysis 1966-1996
The email version of the March 4, 1998 report contained an incorrect URL for the North American Breeding Bird Survey: Results and Analysis 1966-1996. The correct address for that resource can be found at the above URL. Our apologies for any inconvenience. [JS]
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Learning Resources
Ask A Scientist--ANL
Argonne National Laboratory, one of the US Department of Energy's largest research centers, has posted this 'Newton' website with its Division of Educational Programs. The interactive website provides students (mostly K-12) and teachers with answers to questions about astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental sciences, mathematics, physics, and general science. Users type in a question, which is forwarded to an expert in that field. While 'Newton' has been available as a Telnet service since 1991, this new website allows free access to the searchable database of 15,000 questions and answers. Currently available archives cover the period 1992 through 1995. [LXP]
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The Numeroscope [Java]
The Numeroscope, created by Paul Burchard as part of the Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program in Mathematics, is a tool for exploring numbers and cryptography. The "laboratory" is divided into six modules, each examining a different aspect of mathematics. Topics include addition, multiplication, powers, logarithms, factoring, square roots, polynomial equations, and cryptography. Each module includes a Java applet, a brief explanation of the topic and the applet, and discussion questions based on results from the applet. Note, to close an applet once it is running, press the 'back' button on your browser. [KH]
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3-D Insects [VRML, QuickTime]
Alexei A. Sharov, Research Scientist in the Department of Entomology at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), provides this fascinating look at insects. The site is highlighted by fourteen VRML insects (QuickTime movies are also provided), including beetle, ant, mantis, flea, and wasp. In addition to the animation, each section contains several pointers to other relevant information about the insect. Note that the QuickTime movies are set to play and repeat, but can be manually halted at any time. [LXP]
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Silicon, Circuits, and the Digital Revolution
This site is the homepage for SCEN103 taught by Professor George H. Watson of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware. It features online classes and lessons, slide shows and additional online resources. Topics discussed include circuits, electronics, semiconductors, and transistors, among many others. Each class presents learning material and exercises to further the understanding of the topic. [KH]
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Pacific Salmon Information Via the Internet--NMFS
The National Marine Fisheries Service maintains this Pacific Salmon metasite, which covers the life history, habitat, and economic status of salmon, the role of US state fisheries and Canadian agencies in managing salmon stocks, and additional salmon information. From the University of Washington's concise and informative "Salmon Life History" page, to the Pacific Salmon Alliance's proud "Stand up for Canada: Save our Salmon" page, interested users will find much information on the ecology and politics of Salmon. [LXP]
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General Interest
Challenge of Materials--SML
The Challenge of Materials is an online gallery of information and graphics of common materials; the site is based on an exhibit at the Science Museum in London. It is divided into four main components. World Changers features materials which have significantly impacted civilization. What are Materials features nine atomic structures of materials and a matching game, complete with snippets of information about each material. Selecting Materials allows users to guess which materials work best for certain applications. Making Materials explains three different methods used to transform a raw material into a usable product. [KH]
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The Albatross Project--Wake Forest University
This colorful and informative site is designed mostly for kids. Researchers from Wake Forest University are studying albatrosses, a group of large, long-distance-flying seabirds. Visitors to the site can monitor the flight paths of several birds, which were fitted with tiny Satellite transmitters in Hawaii and the Galapagos. As they fly between Hawaii and Alaska or the Galapagos Islands and coastal Peru, the progress of these albatrosses is plotted on a series of color maps. Other features at the site include descriptions of the researchers, background information on albatrosses, photographs, and descriptions of the Satellite technology employed. [LXP]
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Mars Global Surveyor Movies and Animations--NASA JPL
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory currently provides over 40 movies and animations that depict the Mars Global Surveyor (discussed in the November 8, 1996 Scout Report) during the aerobraking phase of its flight. The MGS was launched in November 1996 to study the surface, atmosphere, and magnetic properties of Mars. Animations are available in QuickTime or MPEG formats; file sizes are very large, many over five Mb. [KH]
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The Science and Engineering of Composting--CUCE
The Cornell University Center for the Environment provides this site as a one-stop source of composting information. The science and engineering necessary to truly understand successful composting, including simple and well-explained equations, resides at this site. The content is divided into four categories. Background Information covers four key areas of composting: invertebrates, microbes, chemistry, and physics. Getting the Right Mix introduces composters to the concepts necessary for creating a successful compost pile, including moisture content, bio-availability, and carbon content. Composting Experiments offers ideas for projects to investigate factors influencing the composting process, such as temperature, pH, and invertebrates. Composting Engineering Fundamentals focuses on three engineering principles used in composting: process analysis, odor management, and water quality protection. [KH]
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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:

Ocean Drilling Initial Reports and Scientific Results Updates--JOI [.pdf]
More Information About the Ocean Drilling Program
The Ocean Drilling Program, provided by a group of ten US institutions known as the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc., has recently released Initial Reports Vol. 166-168, and Scientific Results Vol. 154 online (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only). This is the the first time that the ODP has made its proceedings and scientific results available via the Internet. Included in the Initial Reports are information about transects, field notes about cores, and data from core samples, among other items. SR 154 contains 37 separate studies in six topics, including biostratigraphy, sediment studies, and paleoceanography. [KH]
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New Publications from NSF
Science and Engineering Degrees, by Race/Ethnicity of Recipients: 1989-95 [Excel]
This newly-released report from the National Science Foundation details the progress (measured in terms of college degrees earned) of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, between 1989 and 1995. The report, which is divided into five sections (Data Highlights, Technical Notes, Statistical Charts, Detailed Statistical Tables, and Classification of Programs), includes color charts, graphics, and full tables (Microsoft Excel format), as well as detailed text. The report is available in hypertext and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) formats. [LXP]

Federal R&D Funding by Budget Function Fiscal Years 1996-98 [Excel]
This report "presents information on Federal proposed fiscal year (FY) 1998 budget authority for the research and development(R&D) components of agency programs." As with most NSF reports of this kind, the bulk of the information is contained in 34 Microsoft Excel tables. [KH]
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ARS Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems Scientific Directory--USDA
The Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has recently updated this searchable and browsable directory published by the USDA-ARS National Program Staff in Beltsville Maryland. Entries can be searched or browsed by state. Name, contact information, and research interests are provided. [JS]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from the Chronicle of Higher Education

E Jobs: Environmental Jobs and Careers in New England
E Jobs, created by David Brierley, provides leads to environmental jobs in the New England area. Fields that are covered by E Jobs include state government, engineering and consulting firms, environmental laboratories, law firms, and non-profit organizations. E Jobs also offers other services such as links to recruiters, employment opportunities within environmental organizations, and additional online employment resources. [KH]
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Funding Opportunity Information
Macromolecular Structure Database--NSF
The National Science Foundation has announced this award to develop, establish, maintain & distribute a Macromolecular Structure Database. Details are provided at the site. [LXP]
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ChemInt '98: Chemistry and the Internet
ChemInt '98 will be held September 12-15, 1998 in Irvine, California. The conference will discuss the future of the Internet as it applies to chemistry. A program overview is available on the site. The sessions are divided into 3 categories: content, tools, and education/training. Abstracts for contributed talks are being accepted until May 1, 1998. [KH]

The First International Conference on Geospatial Information in Agriculture and Forestry
The First International Conference on Geospatial Information in Agriculture and Forestry "will focus on trends in the development and use of geospatial information technology by the agricultural and forestry communities, with special emphasis on applying advanced geospatial data and information techniques to improve today's decision making while defining future research requirements and implementation strategies." The conferences will be held at Lake Buena Vista, Florida from June 1-3, 1998. Registration information is available at the site. [LXP]

216th ACS National Meeting
The American Chemical Society (ACS) will hold its 216th national meeting in Boston, August 23-27, 1998. The site (a work in progress at this time) contains general information, the technical program, and information on submitting papers, including calls for papers by ACS division. [KH]

Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics-NCSU
North Carolina State University is hosting a series of short workshops in statistical genetics from May 28 to June 12, 1998. The workshops "will be aimed at geneticists wishing to acquire statistical skills as well as statisticians wishing to become acquainted with genetic applications." Details, deadlines, and instructions on how to enroll are provided at the site. [LXP]
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New Data
The Greenland Summit Ice Cores CD-ROM--NOAA NGDC
The Greenland Ice Core Project collected data to investigate the paleoclimate record for the Northern Hemisphere. This data was collected and made available on a CD-ROM, which is now available for downloading from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Geophysical Data Center site. The contents of the CD-ROM include an overview of the project and the data. The website also features two search engines: citation & data, and information. [KH]
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Saccharomyces Genome Database Version 4.11--Stanford Genomic Resources
ftp access:
ftp to:
Change directories to: SacchDB
The new version of SacchDB has been released by the Genome Databases Group at the Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine. The database can be searched interactively or downloaded via ftp. [LXP]
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International Ultraviolet Explorer Archive--STSCI
The IUE (International Ultraviolet Explorer) Archive Search provides access to data for over 107,000 images collected by the IUE from 1978 through 1996. The data for this database is provided by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the Hubble Space Telescope. Obtaining data from the Catalogue is a four step process. First, users search the IUE Catalog to find the desired object and its data. Second, users must specify the types of files to extract. Third, files are requested from the archive and loaded to a public sector on the server. Finally, the user must download the files to a personal system via an anonymous ftp. Software for analyzing the data is provided through ftp links to the IUE Data Analysis Center. Online documentation guides users through the search procedure. [KH]
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A Cumulative Checklist for the Lichen-forming, Lichenicolous and Allied Fungi of the Continental United States and Canada
Dr. Theodore L. Esslinger of North Dakota State University's Department of Botany provides this website, which contains cumulative updates to the 1995 North American checklist by Esslinger and Egan. This extensive taxonomic list of lichenicolous and allied fungi (i.e., parasites living on fungi, saprophytic fungi, etc.) covers taxonomy and nomenclature for known species in the Continental US and Canada. Originally published in 1995, this online update highlights all new changes in a different color--a handy feature that allows the user to document scientific progress in the field. The checklist is organized by genus and is alphabetically ordered. [LXP]
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In the News
Pfiesteria piscicida
1. NCSU Aquatic Botany Laboratory: Pfiesteria piscicida
2. Fish Health in the Chesapeake Bay: About Pfiesteria piscicida
3. Pfiesteria piscicida--EPA
4. Pfiesteria: Natural Resource and Human Health Concerns--CRS
5. Pfiesteria: A Case Study of When Politics and Science Clash
6. Maryland Department of the Environment
7. Maryland Department of the Environment Information on Total Maximum Daily Loads
8. Draft Strategy on Animal Feeding Operations--EPA
9. Pfiesteria piscicida--NAL
The focus of this week's In The News is Pfiesteria piscicida, a tiny marine organism that has received wide, national attention related to last year's massive fish kill in the Chesapeake Bay. The nine resources listed provide an overview of Pfiesteria piscicida, from basic biology to environmental, political, and economic impacts. Neither plant nor animal, this protist is a type of dinoflagellate, a group of algae known commonly for causing "red tides." Possessing unusual predatory characteristics, these microorganisms kill their prey (fish) by propelling themselves forward and releasing a toxin that is "1,000 times more powerful than cyanide." Although Chesapeake Bay has historically experienced algae blooms, most--until recently--have been harmless. Agricultural runoff from animal waste and fertilizers have boosted nutrient loads beyond natural levels, which in turn has led to toxic algae blooms. As a result of the increase in Pfiesteria, President Clinton has increased funding for clean water initiatives, and legislation is currently being negotiated to regulate runoff from poultry and hog farms in Maryland.

(1) This site is provided by Dr. JoAnn Burkholder's Aquatic Botany Laboratory at North Carolina State University. Burkholder, who last month received the prestigious "Scientific Freedom And Responsibility Award" from the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS), is the nation's leading researcher on Pfiesteria piscicida and co-discovered the species in 1991 (Nature 358: 407-410). The site offers general information, photographic images, research summaries, and links to related sites. (2) The University System of Maryland maintains this site, which provides a general overview of Pfiesteria piscicida. (3) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes general information, news releases, and government documents dealing with Pfiesteria piscicida on this web page. (4) This US Congressional Research Service report discusses various aspects of Pfiesteria. (5) This news release from NC State News Service highlights the controversial component of Pfiesteria research--the constraint of scientific progress by political agendas that sidestep human and environmental health concerns. (6,7) Both of these sites are provided by the Maryland Department of the Environment, a state agency involved in implementing the Clean Water Act. The first site includes fact sheets and news releases on Pfiesteria and the full 'Chesapeake Bay Tributary Nutrient Reduction Strategies' report; the second site details the TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads), the maximum allowable pollutant loads for a body of water that meet Water Quality Standards (TMDLs are allocated among pollution contributors). (8) Just released by the EPA, this is the government's draft strategy to reduce Pfiesteria blooms by controlling waste caused by Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs). Written comments on the AFO draft will be accepted until May 1, 1998. (9) This site, provided by the US National Agricultural Library's Water Quality Information Center, features brief annotations and links to sites covering Pfiesteria, as well as fact sheets, news releases, and a bibliography. [LXP]
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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.

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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.

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