The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - April 12, 2000

April 12, 2000

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


Behavioral & Brain Sciences (BBS)
Provided by Cambridge University Press, Behavioral & Brain Sciences (BBS) is an international, interdisciplinary journal of "open peer commentary." This interesting Website highlights "open science" in a way that many practitioners will find inspiring. Specifically, the Website offers full-text of important and controversial interdisciplinary "target articles" in psychology, neuroscience, behavioral biology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and philosophy. These "target articles" are "unedited penultimate drafts of BBS target articles that have been accepted for publication" or are already published (since 1993), accompanied by 1,000-word commentaries (analytical critiques) that are co-published with each article, along with the author's response to each. Users may search target articles by subject (BBS keyword) and browse full-text of all returns. Final published versions of target articles and their accompanying commentaries and author responses are available through Cambridge University Press. [LXP]
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Genetically Modified Pest Protected Plants [.pdf]
Released on April 5, this widely anticipated report on genetically modified foods from a twelve-member panel of the National Research Council, part of the US National Academy of Sciences, offers a cautious endorsement of biotech foods, but also calls for more oversight and regulation. Focusing only on plants that have been genetically engineered to produce their own pesticides, the report finds no evidence that any foods made from these plants are unsafe to eat. It also finds no inherent danger in the insertion of genes from one species into another. However, the report does advise the government to conduct studies on the long-term health effects of eating biotech foods and recommends that the EPA regulate crops modified to resist viruses. As would be expected, the report has been welcomed by biotechnology companies and blasted by foes of genetic engineering, some of whom accused the panel of a pro-industry bias. A free pre-publication copy of the report is available online at the National Academy Press Website. Users can view the text as page images in HTML format or as .pdf files. [MD]
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JPL Polar Oceanography Group [pdf]
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Polar Oceanography Group utilizes "satellite microwave remote sensing data and in-situ methods to understand the climate-induced variability in sea-ice and land-ice on seasonal to interannual time scales." Research conducted by the group is mainly concerned with Arctic Sea Ice, Antarctic Sea Ice, and Ice Sheets. "The principal thrust of this research is to understand the role of the polar oceans in controlling or regulating global climate." A data products section includes online data for sea ice melt detection and ice drift and ice motion data. The excellent publications section offers online copies (.pdf) of the group's work dating from 1989 to current publications that are in press. The site also provides news, contacts, and links. [KR]
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Six Online Journals With Temporary Free Access
Journal of Geochemical Exploration [pdf]
Journal of Geodynamics [pdf]
Journal of African Earth Sciences [pdf]
Biomacromolecules [pdf]
Journal of Neurochemistry [pdf]
Natural Hazards Review [.pdf]
Access to six online journals has recently been made temporarily free. First, the Journal of Geochemical Exploration, a journal for environmental and economic geochemistry from Elsevier Science, will be temporarily free for the next few months. Next, the Journal of Geodynamics, also from Elsevier Science, focuses on "solid earth research in geodetic, geophysical, geological and geochemical geodynamics, with special emphasis on the large scale processes involved." This journal will be also freely available for the next few months. A third journal from Elsevier Science, the Journal of African Earth Sciences, is devoted to "all aspects of geological investigations, especially the search for natural resources, on the African continent and its once surrounding Gondwana fragments." Fourth, a new journal from American Chemical Society Publications, Biomacromolecules, is "an interdisciplinary journal focussed at the interface of polymer science and the biological sciences." The first issue may be sampled at the site, while future issues will require a subscription. Next, Journal of Neurochemistry, the official journal of the International Society for Neurochemistry, will be available free until January 31, 2001. This journal is "devoted to the molecular, chemical, and cellular biology of the nervous system." Finally, the first issue of Natural Hazards Review is currently freely accessible from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). "Civil engineers, geologists, scientists and researchers involved in various aspects of construction will find the broad scope of the journal helpful for developing design strategies to mitigate natural hazards." ASCE non-members are required to complete an online form to access the articles. [KR]
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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory [.pdf]
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of nine US Department of Energy multi-program national laboratories, conducts research concerning environmental science and technology. This huge site holds information on research in atmospheric science and climate change, analytic and physical chemistry, computational science and engineering, environmental remediation, statistics, thermal and energy systems, and so much more. Many of the individual research pages contain downloadable publications. Section headings for the site include Energy, Environment, Health and Safety, Information Technology, National Security, and Nuclear Technology, among others. Also included here is the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a facility that conducts "fundamental research on the physical, chemical, and biological processes that underpin critical environmental issues." [KR]
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Gemini Detective
A collaborative effort of the laboratories of Dr. Judith Brown (University of Arizona) and Dr. Stephen D. Wyatt (Washington State University), this Website serves as a hub of information on whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses in the genus Begomoviridae. Resources provided at the site include Begomovirus descriptive information (general information; worldwide distribution; a hyperlinked list of Begomovirus; and a searchable database of begomovirus isolates by geographic location, virus/ isolate name, symptom, and host) and Core Coat Protein Sequence Database (including PCR sequence technical information and Mini-Blast search). In addition to text, several small color images provide illustrations of the effect (symptoms) of geminivirus-related disease on hosts. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

Introduction to the Plant Kingdom
Dr. Sean Carrington of the Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences at the University of the West Indies (UWI) has put together this excellent Website as a supplement to a first-year botany course. The Website is well conceived and beautifully constructed, and covers algae through seed plants with illustrations and examples drawn mainly from the Caribbean region. Each chapter includes text, figures, tables, and color photographs, and is linked to laboratory assignments and a series of exam questions related to recently gained knowledge. The site also offers handouts, a glossary, and related links. For anyone seeking a solid introduction to plants, this site is an excellent contribution. [LXP]
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Two on Accelerator Physics
The Physics of Beams
Principles of Charged Particle Acceleration [.pdf]
These two learning resources comprise a healthy introduction to the physics of beams and charged particle acceleration. The first site, from the American Physical Society and Michigan State University's Beam Theory and Dynamical Systems Group, contains a brochure providing a basic introduction to the study of beams and their applications. Sections include Accelerators of the World, Spectrometers, Scientific and Medical Applications, Non-linear Dynamics, and more. The second site, by Stanley Humphries, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at University of New Mexico, amounts to an online textbook (.pdf) introducing the theory of charged particle acceleration. The book's fifteen chapters (with bibliography) summarize "the principles underlying all particle accelerators" and provide "a reference collection of equations and material essential to accelerator development and beam applications." [KR]
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The DNA Learning Center
Provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the DNA Learning Center offers a compendium of educational information related to genetics. While we have reviewed components of the DNA Learning Center site in previous reports, users may wish to check out the plethora of online resources in their entirety. Six sections form the heart of the resource page: BioServers (The DNA Learning Center's brand new bioinformatics tools), Features (archives of feature articles), Bioforms (stepwise interactive genetics exercises), DNA From The Beginning (reviewed in the February 19, 1999 Scout Report), Biology Animation Library, and Nucleotide Sequences of Plasmids. The site also contains general information on the DNA Learning Center, products, programs, recent genetics news, and a series of links, among other features. [LXP]
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Molecule of the Month [Chime, VRML, Java]
From the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry, this site features a new molecule each month. For example, the molecule for April is Melatonin. Each molecule comes with a link to a Webpage from a university or commercial site containing further information. (Links may require Chime, VRML, or Java.) Contributors may submit molecule pages to be considered in future months. Monthly molecules date back to January 1996. [KR]
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The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920 -- Library of Congress
The Library of Congress provides this interesting resource describing the evolution of the conservation movement between 1850 and 1920. The Website documents "the historical formation and cultural foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America's natural heritage." Information provided here is based on hundreds of books, pamphlets, federal statutes, congressional resolutions, legislative documents, presidential proclamations, prints, photographs, historic manuscripts, and (one) motion picture. The conservation movement is chronicled roughly by two-decade periods (e.g., 1847-1871, 1872-1889, etc.), using key legislative events, public response and involvement, important publications, and other historic happenings. During each time period, certain events are highlighted -- with hyperlinks to each relevant document (or to a summary). For students interested in learning about the development and evolution of conservation in the United States, this is an excellent and well documented educational resource. [LXP]
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General Interest

Ecosystem Valuation
Developed as a collaborative project of the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Department of Commerce, NOAA-Sea Grant Office, and University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science, this new Website examines how economists attempt to assign values to ecosystem services. The site is well organized and outlines general and specific topics under the following sections: The Big Picture, Essentials of Ecosystem Valuation, Dollar-based Ecosystem Valuation Methods, Ecosystem Benefit Indicators, and Links. Topics are explained in terms that laypersons will understand (a glossary is also provided) but without compromising the quality of information. Anyone interested in learning more about this controversial but increasingly important area will find this site an excellent starting point. [LXP]
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Top Cited HEP Articles 1999 Edition
From the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) SPIRES High Energy Physics Database (see October 16, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering, the 1999 edition of the Top Cited High Energy Physics Articles has recently been released. As researchers well know, the number of times an article has been cited can serve as a useful gauge for the impact of that piece of work. "The 1999 edition covers all HEP papers from January 1, 1999 and December 31, 1999." Included at the site are a review of top cited HEP articles 1999, a list of top cited HEP articles in 1999, a list of all-time top cited HEP articles, and a list of top cited articles from the SPIRES E-print archives 1999. Also included are previous editions of the list dating back to 1992. [KR]
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This new nature portal offers online searchable field guides to over 4,800 plant and animal species. Derived from 35 different Audubon Society Field Guides, Regional Guides, and Nature Guides, the database is keyword-searchable by group (mammals, amphibians, fishes, trees, etc.) or browseable within subheadings for each group. The field guide entries include a large thumbnail image, description, and varying additional information. Users can also conduct an advanced search by size, color, habitat, region, and other options within each group. Registered members (its free) can add selected plants or animals to their "Life List," which is saved at the site, along with notes or comments. While the field guides alone make the site worth a visit, there is more, including an Ask an Expert message board, Habitat Guides, news features, tips for teachers, and in the future, a comprehensive Outdoor Planner. [MD]
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GPS Applications Exchange
This site from NASA offers information and links representing "the many diverse uses of signals from the Global Positioning System" around the world. This database of GPS applications and their benefits is searchable by applications (such as Environment, Forestry and Agriculture, Geographic Information Systems, Natural Disasters, Weather Forecasting, and much more), by country, and by region. Each entry includes a short summary giving examples of how the GPS is used, along with a source that includes a URL leading to additional information. Users may submit applications online, by email, or by post. [KR]
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Audubon Magazine's Resolutions for a New Millennium
With Earth Day 2000 soon approaching, this resource from Audubon Magazine (of the National Audubon Society) will get readers thinking about ways to minimize human impact on the environment and tread more lightly on the earth. The site lists 38 ways to reduce negative impacts on the environment (from "Gardening for Wildlife" through "Buying Less"), and each list is annotated with one or two hyperlinked URLs (pointing users to a detailed site) and phone numbers (for those wishing to get involved or learn more, fast). This list of "resolutions" is a reasonable sample of the "top 25" issues currently associated with human impacts, and is echoed at other Websites on similar topics. [LXP]
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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:

Two on the Chicken Genome
Progress With Map of Chicken Genes
Consensus Map [Excel, .pdf]
In the race to map animal and human genomes, the chicken genome mapping project is also underway. These sites offer a "draft" of the chicken genome map, provided by the US Department of Agriculture. Most details are provided at the Consensus Map page, featuring a linkage map comprised of "all the genotyping data from the three available chicken mapping populations (East Lansing, Compton and Wageningen)," containing 1889 loci. A reference table and reference list may also be downloaded as Excel files from the site. [LXP]
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Announcement, Chemistry Preprint Server will be releasing a 100,000-article chemistry preprint server in July 2000. The free service will provide researchers with a major hub for submitting and tapping into current research information. For more information about this anticipated event, see the press release. [KR]
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New Publications

New CRS Reports
Eleven new and sixty-six updated Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports have just been added to the National Library for the Environment Website. The new reports cover federal grazing regulations, Russia, electricity restructuring, US withdrawal from the WTO, disaster mitigation bills, and ethanol fuel, among other varied topics. [LXP]

High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine
The High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine, published by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is a new Web journal "devoted to high-energy physics libraries." The purpose of the journal is to help librarians in their day-to-day work by offering a forum for discussing issues relating to information management, resources, and training. [KR]

Essays on Science and Society -- Science
In honor of the 150th anniversary of AAAS, Science magazine publishes monthly essays on Science and Society, featuring "the views of individuals from inside or outside the scientific community as they explore the interface between science and the wider society." The most recent in the long series of essays represented here is by John Harris and tackles the interplay between technology and mortality. [LXP]

HYLE, An International Journal for the Philosophy of Chemistry
Published at the University of Karlsruhe, Institute of Philosophy, Germany, " HYLE is a refereed international journal for the philosophy of chemistry dedicated to all philosophical aspects of chemistry." The electronic form of the journal is published twice a year and is free. The Spring 2000 issue has been recently released. [KR]

Two from NPWRC
"Prescribed Fire Effects on Biological Control of Leafy Spurge"
"Habitat Associations of Migrating and Overwintering Grassland Birds in Southern Texas"
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NWPRC) has posted two new resources on the Web. The first, by David Fellows and Wesley Newton, is an online version of a 1999 publication in the Journal of Range Management (52,489-493) and examines the effect of prescribed burning on flea beetle (Aphthona nigriscutis) colonies. The second resource, by Lawrence Igl and Bart Ballard, was originally published in Condor in 1999 (101,771-782) and examines habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds migrating through (or overwintering in) southern Texas during 1991-1993. [LXP]

"Citizen's Guide To Ground-Water Protection" -- EPA [.pdf, 2061K]
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated and released this important resource, titled "Citizen's Guide to Ground-Water Protection" (EPA 440-6-90-004). The recently reprinted Guide, which may be downloaded as a .pdf document, includes new information "describing the source water assessment and protection program" of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Job Opportunities -- Entomological Society of America

Environmental Career Opportunities

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Partnership for Innovation -- NSF
Notice of intent: June 1, 2000 (email submission ONLY)
Proposal deadline: July 6, 2000

Undergraduate Scholarships from the Entomological Society of America [.pdf]
Application deadline: May 31, 2000

Science and Engineering Scholarships --
Application deadline, various

National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program External Research Program
Application deadlines: May 10, 2000

Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE)
Letter of intent deadline: June 16, 2000
Proposal deadline: July 17, 2000
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TIME 2000, An International Conference on Technology in Mathematics Education
December 11-14, 2000, Auckland, New Zealand
Deadline extended to April 30, 2000

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) 2000 Annual Meeting
July 10-14, 2000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Deadline for abstracts: May 15, 2000

The First Asian Conference on Plant Pathology
August 25-28, 2000, Beijing, China
Deadline for paper summaries: April 30, 2000

Twelfth International Genome Sequencing and Analysis Conference
September 12-15, 2000, Miami Beach, Florida
Abstracts due: July 7, 2000
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New Data

Canadian Climate Normals, 1961-1990
Environment Canada has recently made available these data on climate normals for provinces in Canada during the period 1961-1990. For each province, stations are listed alphabetically, and monthly average conditions are given for each station, including latitude/longitude, elevation, temperature, precipitation, sunshine, station pressure, moisture, and wind. The data are provided using English and French titles and descriptions. [LXP]
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Offshore Weather Data
From Penn State's Earth and Mineral Sciences Department, this site "gives access to decoded offshore weather observations...primarily from moored buoys and ships crossing the oceans." The raw data have been decoded into tables with information on station ID, latitude and longitude, temperature, dewpoint, wind (sustained and gust) direction and speed, maximum wind gust, surface pressure, three-hourly pressure tendency, sea surface temperature, wave heights, and wave period. The site also contains regional maps and multiple search features. [KR]
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New Mexico Species List, Reptiles and Amphibians
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish compiled this extensive list of reptiles and amphibians for New Mexico and Arizona. Organized alphabetically by common name (with scientific name in parenthesis), each hyperlinked name connects the viewer to further details (taxonomy, status, life history, distribution, habitat information, food habits, environmental associations, management practices, and references) via the Biota Information System Of New Mexico (BISON). Researchers will appreciate the extent and clarity of information in this database. [LXP]
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Caltech/ USGS SeismoCam
From the Southern California Seismographic Network, A cooperative project of Caltech and the US Geological Survey, SeismoCam features real-time seismic data (only 30 seconds old) taken from five stations located in California (Pasadena, San Nicolas Island, University of Southern California, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Vistorville). Data include time, magnitude, latitude and longitude of any event, a waveform display, and more. The site also allows users to replay recent or historical events, and offers a map of SeismoCam stations and information about the data. [KR]
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In The News

Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (COP11)
1. "Elephants Dominate Endangered Species Meeting" -- Yahoo
2. "Ivory debate splits conference" -- BBC
3. "Get Whales off the CITES table says WWF" -- ENN
5. Text of the Convention -- CITES
7. COP11 Briefing Room
8. TRAFFIC Recommendations on Proposals to Amend the Appendices at the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES
9. SSC and the 11th CITES CoP
10. Analyses of Proposals to Amend the CITES Appendices
11. IUCN
The international wildlife trade, worth billions of dollars annually, "has caused massive declines in the numbers of many species of animals and plants" (CITES homepage). To reduce the impacts of over-exploitation, in 1973 an international Convention was drawn up "to protect wildlife against such over-exploitation and to prevent international trade from threatening species with extinction" (CITES homepage). The 1973 Convention is known as CITES, or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and it spells out the banning and regulation of commercial international trade on "an agreed list of endangered species ... and others that might become endangered" (CITES homepage). Every two to three years, participating Parties of CITES (now representing over 150 countries) meet to review the implementation of the present Convention, and to consider and adopt amendments. During these meetings, there are often heated debates among those seeking to conserve species, and those seeking to maximize economic benefit from the international trade of species. This week's In The News highlights this critical international meeting (Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, or "COP11"), currently underway in Nairobi, Kenya, April 10-20, 2000.

The first two resources, news releases from Yahoo (1) and the BBC (2), give a brief overview of the heated issues already dominating the CITES meeting: whether or not to re-open trade in elephant ivory and whale parts. The third resource, from Environmental News Network (3), is a recent news release summarizing the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) position on whaling. For background information on CITES, see the CITES homepage (4), which includes, among other documents, the full text of the Convention (5). The CITES Convention is regulated in part by a conservation program called TRAFFIC, which is maintained by WWF and IUCN (The World Conservation Union), the world's largest conservation organization. At the TRAFFIC homepage (6), users will find several concise summaries of the issues at stake for the current CITES meeting. Also from TRAFFIC are two resources directly related to the current Kenya meeting: COP11 Briefing Room (7) and TRAFFIC's Recommendations on Proposals to Amend the Appendices at the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (8). The IUCN also provides a Webpage on the COP11 meeting (9), with links to relevant documents including "Analyses of Proposals to Amend the CITES Appendices" (10), prepared in conjunction with TRAFFIC. Finally, those interested in international conservation issues in general, will want to take a look at IUCN's homepage (11), which covers a plethora of related issues, including CITES. [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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