The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - November 24, 1999

November 24, 1999

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


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


Climate of 1999: June-August, Drought in the US
The Climate of 1999
The Climate of 1999: June-August, Drought in the US, a special report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides extensive data with discussion on the Summer 1999 drought. The report features Palmer Drought Indices, Drought and Streamflow data, historical comparisons, and detailed precipitation and temperature data. The site also contains links to detailed global climate analyses, US regional and national analyses, and 1999 monthly climate reports. Among these links, the Climate of 1999 page supplies climate data and discussion for the entire year; the November 1999 monthly report focuses on the record warmth striking areas around the country. These sites are an excellent resource for researchers interested in a wide range of discussion and climate data for this summer and 1999 to date. [KR]
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As maps and mapping tools are increasingly used throughout the scientific community, there is a growing need for a synthesis of available and upcoming geo/graphic materials. This excellent site from highlights a wide variety of resources for researchers interested in the newest GIS maps, tools, and software. The site includes a search engine (focused on geographic-related Websites), geo software (including freeware), recent news related to the GIS community, and a handful of educational materials (see Fun Stuff). The heart of the site is the GIS Data Depot section, however. Here, users may browse the latest GIS coverage (including free downloads of USGS Digital Raster Graphics, among others), scan the list of upcoming GIS resources, and submit questions about projections, formats, scale, or other issues to the help desk. While not all GIS data files listed here are free, the site is a valuable centralized reference tool for newly available mapping materials at the national, state, and county scales. Furthermore, the listing of prices for items that are not free may be of assistance to researchers planning budgets for future GIS-related projects. [LXP]
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Experimental Soft Condensed Matter Group [.ps]
From Harvard University's Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences and its Department of Physics, the Experimental Soft Condensed Matter Group carries out research on the physics of "soft condensed matter, materials which are easily deformable by external stresses, electric or magnetic fields, or even by thermal fluctuations." The group tries to determine how structure and dynamics at mesoscopic scales influence macroscopic physical properties. The research areas covered by the site include Colloids and Surfactants, Microenvironments of Heterogenous Systems, and Physics of Colloids in Space, to name a few. Also, a publications section offers Publications of the Experimental Soft Condensed Matter Group dating from 1996 to 1999, as well as Related Publications and research done elsewhere from 1985 to 1995. Finally, there are links to facility instruments and sites of related interest. [KR]
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Simulation of Ion Channels and Membrane Proteins
Dr. Mark Sansom of the Department of Biochemistry at Oxford University (UK) heads up this research group on Simulation of Ion Channels and Membrane Proteins. Dedicated to understanding the physiological properties of ion channels -- conductance, ion selectivity, and gating -- this lab uses molecular modeling (and other approaches) to generate "plausible molecular models of ion channels." Targeting those in the know, the homepage provides a wealth of technical information and resource links. The Introduction section outlines the research project, while technical publications, including FTP access to several papers, are offered in the Bibliography and FTP sections. The heart of the site is the Research section, which gives detailed, color-illustrated descriptions of the (currently) six main projects, including Antimicrobial Peptides and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Ion Permeation in Channels, among others. A hefty selection of academic links rounds out the site. [LXP]
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PhysNet [.ps, .pdf, Java]
From the Carl von Ossietzky Universitat Oldenburg, Germany, the physics department hosts PhysNet, an excellent resource for physicists in search of listings of physics departments, documents, free journals, and conferences. The Website contains links to departments worldwide and provides a centralized source for accessing material from each of those departments. The searchable PhysDoc lets users enter a search term or author listing, and the engine returns links for that term from physics departments's publications pages around the world. MetaPhys, a physics document meta search engine sponsored by the European Physical Society, acts as a single interface for many of the major databases holding e-prints, preprints, and databases of various publishers. The PhysNet Journals section contains links to free physics-related journals worldwide. With so many resources accessible from one site, PhysNet should serve as a useful reference tool for physicists. [KR]
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Two on Ferns
FERNS [FileMaker Pro]
The first site, dedicated to "the phylogeny, character evolution, and diversification of extant ferns," represents a collaborative research project by botanists Kathleen Pryer (The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago), Alan Smith (University of California at Berkeley), and Paul Wolf (Utah State University). The site includes a research summary (describing how morphological and molecular systematics will be used to infer a "robust phylogenetic framework for ferns"), Introduction, Objectives, Discussion, and additional resources (Publications, References, and Related Links). A database (Fern DNA Database) containing more than 700 records of DNA-sequence data may also be viewed online (requires FileMaker Pro; instructions provided on-site). The second (and related) site, Filicopsida, is part of a larger site, The Tree of Life (see the December 6, 1996 Scout Report), describing the phylogenetic relationships of life on earth. The Filicopsida site offers phylogenetic groupings for the Clade Filicopsida, with links to higher level and lower level taxa. Several color pictures are included, in addition to the phylogenetic tree. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

College Physics for Students of Biology and Chemistry [Java, Mathematica]
From Ken Koehler, Associate Professor of Physics at Raymond Walters College, this physics hypertextbook is intended "as a vehicle for students in the biological and chemical sciences, enabling them to understand the physical underpinnings of their later studies." With a focus on the activities of measurement and prediction as they apply to the study of physics, the lessons are intended for serious students with a working knowledge of algebra and some college level biology and chemistry. The chapters cover mechanics, fluids, electricity, magnetism, atomic physics, nuclear physics, thermodynamics, and wave physics. There is a short list of links for further research. Some of the problems may require Java or Mathematica. While the site is has a basic, text-only look to it, this is an excellent resource for physics, chemistry, and biology students. [KR]
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Sea Urchin Embryology [.zip]
Intended for highschool biology teachers, this interesting site contains useful information and ideas for college labs as well. Background information on urchins -- the central study organisms of these embryology lessons -- may be found in the Urchins section; here, users will learn about anatomy and physiology, natural history, path of development, and taxonomic classification, as well as how to obtain and keep urchins in the lab. Teaching units are divided into four main segments: Core Lab (introductory lab), Primary Labs (six labs covering fertilization and experiments), Support Lessons (a series of basic lessons for beginning students), and Information (a collection of additional resources for teachers). Advanced labs are outlined in the substantial Extended Research section, and several dozen animations (.gif), in English or Spanish, illustrate lab procedures and developmental processes. Other learning tools include a glossary, reference list, overheads, and a "skill required" list; additionally, the entire site may be downloaded as a .zip file. This is a nicely conceived site, well worth the visit by educators and students, alike. [LXP]
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Probability Tutorials [.pdf]
Created by Noel Vaillant, PhD from Imperial College, London, these 20 probability tutorials "are meant to be a complete online course on measure theory, lebesgue integration and probability." The exercises are designed to give students all the necessary tools to prove problems themselves. There are solutions for tutorials 1-6, and more are regularly added. Tutorial headings include Dynkin systems, Measurability, Lebesque integration, and Complex measures. Also, the page offers sections on definitions, theorems, history, and links. These self-contained tutorials may be difficult for those without a first degree in Math. [KR]
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Bonn Convention-L
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) Wildlife Interest Group has launched a new discussion list, Bonn Convention-L, "to provide a forum for discussing all aspects of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) of Wild Animals, including all agreements entered into under the CMS." For further information on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), also called the "Bonn Convention," see the November 11, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). [LXP]
To subscribe to the list,
follow instructions at the homepage or
send a blank email (with only your return address)
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Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Standards
The Department of Energy's Technical Standards Website contains a great range of handbooks designed to bring a consensus of standards, to develop needed technical standards that are not readily available, and to communicate these standards to those who use them. With this in mind, the Technical Standards Program aims to provide DOE benchmarks. Highlights for researchers and students include the Fundamentals Handbooks for Classical Physics, Electrical Science, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow, Mathematics, Chemistry, and a great deal more. Items like the Guide to Good Practices for Logkeeping may provide useful practical reference for students and technicians. A great many of the handbooks cover procedures for those working in high-tech labs. A search function allows users to sift through the large amount of information here to access the sections most useful to them. [KR]
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General Interest

Environment Agency of England and Wales [.pdf]
The UK's Environment Agency Website is loaded with information on the state of the UK environment. Highlights of this site include an Environmental Issues and Resources section which contains detailed information, including downloadable reports (.pdf), on subjects raging from "Groundwater and Contaminated Land Issues" to "Endocrine-Disrupting Substances." The State of the Environment pop-up index allows users to jump to pages containing information on dozens of environment-related topics. These pages include highly relevant links, data, and informational text. Another interesting feature is the What's in Your Backyard section which offers users a set of tools to explore national and local UK environmental data. A research and development section, a guidance and information section, and a bimonthly newsletter round out the site. [KR]
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Designing a Report on the State of the Nation's Ecosystems
In 1995, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) began an effort "to increase coordination among federal environmental monitoring programs." One aspect of that effort is the initiation of periodic reporting on the status of the environment -- ambitious reports which "must be scientifically credible." Intended to elicit feedback vis-a-vis its publication on the WWW, this prototype report (to be completed in 2001) attempts to characterize the state of the nation's ecosystems. Headed up by the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, the report lists a host of collaborators, spanning public (largely federal) and private (several industry) players. Currently emphasizing croplands, forests, and coasts and oceans, the report will eventually also cover freshwater systems, urban/ suburban areas, and arid/ grasslands (range lands). Those committed to scientific accuracy may wish to take advantage of this opportunity to provide feedback. [LXP]
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Cornell University Library Math Book Collection
The Cornell University Library has scanned over 570 original math books from their collection and placed them online. The volumes can be accessed here in their entirety. The collection may prove especially useful to mathematicians without access to a first-rate math library. A great many of the books are in languages other than English, notably French and German. Among these historically significant books are a number of works by Bernoulli, Descartes, Hardy, and Poincare. This is an interesting resource which offers a glimpse into the possible future of libraries, and books, for that matter. [KR]
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AAAS Evolution Resources
Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER)
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) provides this Website offering "resources on the scientific content of evolutionary theory and its place in education; historical, philosophical, legal and religious perspectives on evolution; and commentary on current issues" (including the AAAS Board Statement on the Kansas State Board of Education decision). The site is organized into seven main sections: Current Issues, Educational Resources, Scientific Resources, Perspectives, Court Cases (including the "Balanced Treatment" Law), Historical Documents (by Darwin), and Epic of Evolution (essays from a forthcoming volume). Documents at the site reflect current thinking by the leading scholars in the field of evolution and provide historical context for evaluating current thinking. A careful collection of related links augments each section. For further information, see the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) homepage. [LXP]
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National Environmental Trust's Power! Tool
Created by Rich Puchalsky using data from the EPA's EGRID project, and hosted by the Right to Know Network, the National Environmental Trust's Power! Tool is a no frills prototype that allows users to enter the name of their utility company and electricity usage in kilowatt-hours, and the tool returns information on how many pounds of carbon dioxide a utility company creates based on a user's electricity consumption. Additional information includes each company's relation to the national average, technical details, and lists of top polluters and top electricity generators within the US. [KR]
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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 The Scout Report for Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

National Institute of Standards and Technology Journal of Research [.pdf]
Beginning with the September-October 1999 issue, the electronic version of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Journal of Research will be available in .pdf format. The journal contains current NIST research in the areas of physics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and computer sciences. "Papers cover a broad range of subjects, with major emphasis on measurement methodology and the basic technology underlying standardization." With archives dating back to 1995, the site is capable of full-text searching. [KR]
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ARCTIC Science Journeys: 1999 Radio Scripts [RealAudio]
A free radio service broadcasting stories about "science, culture, and the environment of the far north," Arctic Science Journeys (ASJ) is a production of the Alaska Sea Grant College Program, in collaboration with KUAC-FM Alaska Public Radio and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Several dozen radio scripts from 1999 are provided here, covering diverse topics including Gray whales, salmon migration, the use of Labrador retrievers to locate ringed seal lairs, indoor air pollution, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill, among other topics. Each script summarizes the broadcast and provides links to additional information. Users can also listen to the broadcasts using a RealAudio plug-in. [LXP]
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New Publications

"Distribution of Major Herbicides in Ground Water of the United States"
This US Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report, "Distribution of Major Herbicides in Ground Water of the United States," by Jack E. Barbash, Gail P. Thelin, Dana W. Kolpin, and Robert J. Gilliom, "examines the occurrence of selected herbicides and their degradates in ground water." The report focuses on data for seven high-use herbicides including atrazine, cyanazine, simazine, alachlor, metolachlor, prometon, and acetochlor. The paper also includes an overview of other non-USGS regional and national studies of pesticides in ground water. [KR]

Arthropod Management Tests, 1999 (Vol. 24)
Arthropod Management Tests publishes short reports on "preliminary and routine screening tests for management of arthropods which may be beneficial (e.g., parasitoids, predators and diseases of pests, honey bees, silkworms, etc.) or harmful (e.g., pests and disease vectors)" to plants, animals, and humans. Volume 24 (1999) of Arthropod Management Tests is now available and searchable online. The publication is organized by host type (Plants/ Animals/ Structures), Arthropod Scientific Name, and Arthropod Common Name; the resource also includes information on materials evaluated and authors. [LXP]

Reactive Reports
From science writer David Bradley and Advanced Chemistry Development, this newly released Web-based chemistry magazine "will provide the chemistry community with cutting edge reports of exciting developments in the world of the chemical sciences and related fields." The magazine crosses a research orientation with a popular look and feel. Features examine current chemistry developments in areas such as chromatography and nanotechnology, as well as news pertaining to work being done by researchers at Advanced Chemistry Development. [KR]

Two from the American Society of International Law Wildlife Interest Group
Resolutions of the 51st Meeting of the International Whaling Commission
Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Conservation Measures for Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) Wildlife Interest Group has posted these legal documents on the ASIL Website. The first covers the Resolutions of the 51st Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (with links to the International Whaling Commission homepage), while the second is a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Conservation Measures for Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa (with links to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Website). [LXP]

"Coal and Power Systems Strategic Plan & Multi-Year Program Plans" [.pdf]
From the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy, this glossy brochure (.pdf) outlines the Fossil Energy Coal and Power Systems Program for the turn of the century. The plan outlined here aims to produce competitively priced energy, minimize environmental impacts, and also deliver scientific understanding and technological innovations. The brochure covers technologies, strategic plans, carbon sequestration research, and more. Overall, the report supplies interesting statistics on energy use and offers researchers an insight into the DOE's current plans, and how they present those plans. [KR]

Two on the Dakotas
A Closer Look Series from North Dakota Outdoors [.zip]
Riparian Areas of South Dakota [.zip]
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has recently added these publicly targeted resources to the NPWRC homepage. Originally published in North Dakota Outdoors, the first site is a collection of brief fact sheets on some of North Dakota's wildlife, from ospreys to giant moths. The second site, Riparian Areas of South Dakota, covers the structure and function of riparian areas with an emphasis on management. While content is limited, several good color photographs accompany each resource. Both resources may be downloaded as .zip files. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Although The Chronicle of Higher Education charges a fee to access the current week's job listings, extensive postings for the previous week are freely available. [LXP]

American Institute of Chemical Engineers Careers & Employment Services
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers maintains a page for chemical engineering career and employment services. The page contains searchable job listings, career planning guides, a section on employment and salary trends, and more. [KR]

GIS Jobs
Provided by geoCOMMUNITY (see Research, this issue), this GIS Jobs Website lists dozens of jobs in the academic and technical sectors. The frequently updated listings cover job descriptions, contact information, job location, and important dates. [LXP]

Physics Jobs On-line
The Physics Forum, in connection with the Institute of Physics, offers this free online job list for physics job opportunities, including open positions and postdoc openings. In addition to job listings, the site features Jobs Wanted listings, Current Deadlines, Today's Announcements, and an Automated Email Notification of new jobs and deadlines. To submit an entry, users must register. [KR]
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Association for Women in Science: Educational Awards
The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) has announced its Educational Awards for female graduate and undergraduate students of science and technology. Most of the awards pertain to graduate students, including four memorial awards: (1) the Amy Lutz Rechel Award for an outstanding graduate student in the field of plant biology, (2) the Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister Award designated for a graduate student in physics, (3) the Ruth Satter Memorial Award open to women students who interrupted their education for three years or more to raise a family, and (4) the Diane H. Russell Award given to a graduate student in the fields of biochemistry or pharmacology." Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2000. [KR]

Three from NSF
Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology
Centers for Teaching and Learning
Earth System History
The National Science Foundation has announced three funding opportunities for the coming year. The first, Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology, is intended "to provide support for talented undergraduate students to gain research experience and an enriched educational environment in environmental biology." Proposals are due January 26, 2000. The second opportunity solicits proposals "for a wide-ranging, research-based program that will address critical issues in the K-12 instructional workforce through the creation of Centers for Teaching and Learning." Letters of Intent are due January 20, 2000, and Full Proposals are due March 1, 2000. The third opportunity funds research that seeks "to understand the natural variability of the Earth system through records preserved in geo-biologic archives and to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of climate change with annual to millennial resolution, including the forcing mechanisms, interactions and feedbacks among its components." Proposals are due February 14, 2000. [LXP]
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International Astronomical Union Symposium 202
The International Astronomical Union's Scientific Organising Committee presents a symposium entitled Planetary Systems in the Universe: Observation, Formation and Evolution to be held August 7-10, 2000, in Manchester, UK. The aim of the conference will be to "join the new extra-solar planet discoveries, the observations of dust disks round stars and other planetary system and Solar System observations into the context of our theories of the formation and evolution of planetary systems." The deadline for abstracts is February 15, 2000. [KR]

Global Biodiversity Forum: Third Eastern Africa Biodiversity Forum
The Third Regional Session of the Regional Biodiversity Forum for Eastern and Southern Africa will be held in Mombasa, Kenya, February 7-9, 2000. The main theme of this Regional Global Biodiversity Forum will be Using Biodiversity to Strengthen Livelihoods. Abstracts are due by December 1, 1999. [LXP]

26th European Peptide Symposium
The 26th European Peptide Symposium will be held in Montpellier, France, September 11-15, 2000. Topics will include peptide/ protein synthesis, analytical and biophysical methods, new peptides, and combinatorial chemistry. The deadline for abstracts is March 1, 2000. [KR]

Asia Pacific Conference on Plant Tissue Culture and Agribiotechnology
The Asia Pacific Conference on Plant Tissue Culture and Agribiotechnology will be held November 20-24, 2000 in the Republic of Singapore. Co-sponsored by The Institute of Molecular Agrobiology, the National Institute of Education, and others, the theme of the scientific conference will be the Impact of Biotechnology on Agriculture in the 21st Century. Abstracts for posters and papers are invited; no deadline has yet been specified. [LXP]
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New Data

Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis Data Quality Control [.dbf, .gz]
From the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, the Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) page contains real time sea level data which can be modified by site and transmitter, type of data set, database, and time range. Data may be viewed through a browser or downloaded (.dbf, .gz). [KR]
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New York Botanical Garden: Vascular Plant Type Catalog
The New York Botanical Garden is in the ambitious process of photographing 75,000 vascular plant type specimens to make them available on the Web. To date, Specimens of Annonaceae, Ericaceae, Lecythidaceae, and New World Rutaceae have been imaged and included in the catalog. To see a checklist of taxa for each family, users may browse the alphabetical list of available families at the homepage. To access images directly, go to the specific plant family page (e.g., Annonaceae, Ericaceae, Lecythidaceae, or Rutaceae). The color images are powerful representations of the (original) type specimens. [LXP]
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Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) Data Maps
The Environmental Protection Agency's Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) Data Maps provide data on pollutants for which the EPA has established national standards. The data come in ready-to-view national maps, or the AIRS Graphics page allows users generate their own maps and charts by specifying criteria such as dates, locations, and pollutant names. Two main types of data include air quality measurements and pollution emission estimates. [KR]
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Human Genome: The Third Millennium
Human Genome Project Information
Scientists on the Human Genome Project have now successfully sequenced "32% of 3 billion DNA base pairs," and new data are continually becoming available. The Weizmann Institute of Science offers this Website to assist users in locating new sequence information as it becomes available in various databases of the human genome. Several search strategies are provided at this site, as well as links to recently updated databases and search tools, and tips for solving search problems. This centralized, straightforward site should assist users in accessing the morass of newly available data. Further information on the Human Genome Project is provided at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)'s Human Genome Project Information page. [LXP]
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In The News

Methane Gas May Have Caused Global Warming 55 Million Years Ago
1) Historic Global Warming Linked to Methane Release
2) Giant Belch May Have Helped Rise of Mammals
3) Ocean Drilling Project
4) Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Department of Geology and Geophysics
5) Methane and Other Greenhouse Gasses
6) Methane Hydrate: A Surprising Compound
7) Hydrates
8) Gas Hydrate Studies
9) The Paleocene Epoch
According to an article published in the November 19, 1999, issue of the journal Science, a massive release of methane gas (CH4) may have caused global warming during the Paleocene Epoch 55 million years ago. The process began with a gradual atmospheric warming which sent warm currents of surface water down to the ocean floor. Solid methane, called methane hydrate, warmed and became gaseous. The gas escaped from the sediment, and reacted with oxygen to create carbon dioxide which subsequently rose into the atmosphere where it trapped heat. It is thought that this historic global warming, which caused sea temperatures to rise, killed off many deep sea creatures. At the same time, the rise in atmospheric temperature may have created conditions conducive for the evolution of mammals. The evidence for these findings came from close analysis of ocean floor sediment cores. The hypothesis may have profound implications for the current rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the potential for further release of trapped methane beneath the ocean floor. This week's In the News explores the current findings and the relevance of methane hydrate to global warming.

The first site
(1) contains a news release from the Environmental News Network describing the recent evidence for global warming during the Paleocene Epoch. This article is followed by another perspective on the findings (2) from Yahoo! News. Following these articles, the main page for the National Science Foundation's Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) (3) provides "researchers around the world access to a vast repository of geological and environmental information recorded far below the ocean surface in seafloor sediments and rocks." Data from the ODP was used in the present research. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Department of Geology and Geophysics (4) contains additional research pertaining to the study of the sediment cores, paleo-oceanography, and other aspects of oceanography and geology. The following site from the EPA, Methane and Other Greenhouse Gases (5) discusses the role of atmospheric methane in the development of a greenhouse effect. The site contains reports, Q&A's, and general resources. The next page from Lawrence Livermore Laboratories' Science and Technology Review, Methane Hydrate: A Surprising Compound (6), contains a description of the curious nature of methane hydrate and some of the related research on the material. Another Hydrates site (7), in connection with the Department of Energy, provides an in-depth Q&A with special focus on the high interest in methane hydrate for energy use. The Gas Hydrate Studies page at the Woods Hole Field Center site (8) is an excellent resource for those interested in further exploration of gas hydrates. The page offers answers to basic questions concerning gas hydrates, contacts, links to gas hydrate research sites and US Geological Survey Gas Hydrate Resources which include reports and other publications. Finally, The Paleocene Epoch page (9) is part of a series of pages through which users can learn about different epochs. Though the Paleocene page is still under construction, it does offer links to sites covering the Thanetian and Danian Ages, a brief introduction to the emergence of mammals, and other Paleocene Epoch resources. [KR]
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