The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - September 13, 2000

September 13, 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


Three New Journals
Plant and Cell Physiology
Journal Watch
EMBO Reports
Three journals have recently been made available online. The Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists, in combination with Oxford Journals Online, has posted recent issues of the journal Plant and Cell Physiology, an international journal covering original research in the fields of "physiology, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and gene engineering of plants and micro-organisms." Online coverage includes full-text and abstracts from July 2000 to the present. Also newly online are all nine editions of The Massachusetts Medical Society's series Journal Watch, providing "clinical research summaries and commentary by physician-editors." Finally, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) has launched a new journal, EMBO Reports. The journal will include timely reviews, a forum for discussions (with direct relevance to molecular biology), and numerous short primary research reports in the molecular life sciences. Note that the electronic versions of all journals are free through the end of 2000. [LXP]
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Front for the Mathematics ArXiv [.ps, .pdf]
The University of California-Davis Mathematics Department provides this searchable preprint database of mathematics articles. The Front is an "overlay" for ArXiv, a database from Los Alamos National Laboratories that covers other topics besides mathematics. The UC-Davis Front concentrates only on math articles and provides a user-friendly interface with a search engine. The Front does not redistribute the articles themselves, but instead links to ArXiv mirror sites. The site includes instructions for submitting to the ArXiv, but it does not process new submissions itself. Users may search by author, title/ID, words anywhere, or Cat/MSC. Abstracts and articles may be downloaded in .ps or .pdf format. The database can also be browsed rather than searched. Browse topics include algebraic geometry, combinatorics, complex variables, and classical analysis, among others, and sample subtopics for each category can be found in the Categories Writ Large section. Links to Mathematics journals (some require passwords and/or subscriptions), other overlay sites, and to the original Los Alamos ArXiv are provided, as are Help and Q&A pages. [HCS]
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Cliff Ecology Research Group
Dedicated to studying the ecology of cliffs, this interesting Website offers a basic overview of cliff ecology research. Headed by Dr. D.W. Larson of the Botany Department at the University of Guelph (Canada), the Group's research ranges from Cliff-Edge Forest Communities and their restoration, to paleoclimate reconstruction using tree rings (among other topics). Project descriptions are summarized in the Current Research Activities section, and academic publications are listed on-site, including some abstracts. [LXP]
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A Compendium of On-Line Soil Survey Information
Compiled by scientist D.J. Rossiter of the International Institute for Aerospace Survey & Earth Sciences (ITC), this metasite lists research institutions, databases, journals, and classification schemes and models dealing with soil science. The Learning Resource page contains links to soil science glossaries, Rossiter's own course materials, as well as educational sites from University of Alberta, Cornell University, and others. The Computer Programs page takes users to sites featuring software (some free, some for sale) for soil data management, geostatistics, and topographics. The Methods and Techniques page lists manuals and handbooks (The USDA Soil Survey Manual, for example). Links to journals such as the Australian Journal of Soil Research and Geoderma can be found on the journals page. Other sections of the Compendium include Applications and Models, Land Evaluation, Digital Soil Geographic Databases, Bibliography, and a photo gallery. This metasite provides a wide array of information for researchers in soil science, geoscience, or agriculture. [HCS]
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International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases: Select Presentations [RealPlayer, PowerPoint]
The National Center for Infectious Diseases has made available the audio (and in some cases, video) portion of more than 20 online presentations of selected sessions from the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, held July 16-19, 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia. Presentations are organized in chronological order of the conference but may also be searched by presenter. Some presentations may be downloaded in Microsoft PowerPoint. For researchers interested in the field of Emerging Infectious Diseases, this resource represents an exceptionally helpful application of Internet technology. [LXP]
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Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data: Colorado and Alaska [Java, MacGzip]
The mission of the US Geological Survey's Spatial Data Delivery Project (SDDP) is to develop, coordinate, and disseminate relevant databases and to develop online data analysis tools for Mineral Resource Programs. A clickable map of the United States brings users to individual state maps, where an interactive Java applet can be used to find out about that state's mineral resource availability, soil chemistry, and igneous petrology and hydrology. The easy-to-use toolbox allows the map to be viewed with or without city and county lines and geographical features and includes a zoom function; an "identify" tool returns attribute information. The only state fully archived so far is Colorado, but limited data from other states can be accessed once in the Java applet. In addition to the interactive maps, a page of downloadable data on geochemistry, geology, geophysics, minerals, and reference data is available (MacGzip; many files are larger than 500K). [HCS]
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Learning Resources

US Fish & Wildlife Service: Laws, Regulations, Policies, and Congressional Information
The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) offers this Website describing Laws, Regulations, Policies, and Congressional Information related to fish and wildlife regulation/use in the US. The site provides Congressional Updates and Testimonies, Proposed and Final Rules, Federal Register Notices, in addition to Federal and State Law Handbooks, Laws, Treaties, Executive Orders, Program descriptions, and a host of related information. For those interested in tracking the legal mechanisms by which wildlife and wild habitat are manipulated, this site is a gold mine of government information. [LXP]
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This expansive, thorough metasite features a Web directory and search engine covering Websites and documents relevant to civil engineering and technology. Here users will find Engineering News, "New and Cool," a searchable Web directory organized by subdivisions of civil engineering, links to funding sources, a conference calendar, and an academic department index. Highlights of the site include a listing of the "best job search websites for civil engineers" and the "What's New and Cool" section that features links to lively pages such as F.L. Wright's Butterfly Bridge and The Top Ten Construction Achievements of the 20th Century. Examples of topics covered in the directory include construction, surveying, GPS/GIS, earthquake engineering and environmental engineering, among others. Each page of the directory gives links to related books, Usenet messages, and newspaper articles. iCivilEngineer is an excellent tool for students and professionals in civil engineering. [HCS]
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Water Words Dictionary
Compiled in 1997 by the Nevada Division of Water Planning, this online dictionary of "Technical Water, Water Quality, Environmental, and Water-Related Terms" is still relevant. Words are organized in alphabetical order and may be browsed by first letter. In addition, the resource offers multiple Appendices (some are Nevada-specific), a list of Abbreviations and Acronyms, a Metric Conversion Table and Flow Equivalents, Conversion Factors for Hydraulic Units of Measure, and Dictionary References. From A-horizon to Zooplankton, this will be a useful resource for the educator, student, or novice water researcher. [LXP]
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"Nuggets:" Weekly Science Notes from the Yohkoh Soft X-Ray Telescope
The Soft X-Ray Telescope (SXT), used to study rays from the sun, rides aboard the Yohkoh satellite, which was launched from Japan in 1991 under the control of the Japan Institute for Space and Astronautical Science. The "Nuggets" Website gives weekly updates of imagery and data gleaned from the SXT and geared toward the general public. Creative, playful text complements colorful figures and telescope images in each nugget (note: sometimes Japanese-English translations get awkward). For example, the August 25, 2000 nugget, entitled "Cleaving Like a Guillotine," discusses the divergent ribbons of a solar flare. A color satellite image with chromospheric overlays of the "Bastille Day" flare accompanies explanatory text that concludes, "In principle we can use the geometry of the coronal field to understand its energy content, and its transformation during the flare, by calibrating it against the excellent SOHO magnetograms. Up until now this could only be described as a dream - the solution of the 'flare problem', but it seems well within the grasp of these great new data." Links to space science glossaries and hyperlinked text referring to previous nuggets aid readers in understanding solar research science. [HCS]
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Soil Taxonomy, A Basic System of Soil Classification for Making and Interpreting Soil Surveys [.pdf]
Soil Taxonomy Maps [.pdf]
Soil Taxonomy Errata [.pdf]
From Alfisols to Vertisols, this substantial resource (.pdf format only) from the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service provides an in-depth treatment of soil taxonomy around the world. Published in 1999 (Second Edition), this Soil Taxonomy text includes 23 chapters, covering the basics of soil classification through the world distribution of orders and suborders. Soil taxonomy maps are provided separately, highlighting dominant soils in the US, as well as global soil regions. In addition, an Errata sheet lists corrections for the printed text. This magnificent volume will prove useful to researchers, students, and educators, alike. [LXP]
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General Interest

Threatened Species Network
On September 7, 1936, the last Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity. September 7 now marks an annual event in Australia, known as National Threatened Species Day. The Threatened Species Network homepage, co-hosted by Environment Australia's Biodiversity Group and the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), describes Australia's commitment to stemming human-caused extinctions of the 1,400 species that are now at risk in Australia. The Website offers a wealth of general and Australia-specific information, including resources on community action, education, and endangered species research. In addition, viewers will find links to related international sites, a summary of Strategies and Laws (for Australia), and an impressive list of upcoming events (Calendar section). For those interested in learning more about Australia's threatened species or in studying another country's approach to wildlife conservation, this site will be informative. [LXP]
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Arctic Region Supercomputing Center [.mpeg]
Based at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, The Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC) provides high-performance supercomputing for the Arctic region. Visitors to ARSC's Science and Engineering pages can learn about computer-based research projects on arctic, polar regions, and high latitudes (e.g., ice-tide interaction of the Arctic Ocean, imaging the Bering Glacier surge, volcanic ash plume simulation) along with other computer-based techniques (e.g., visualization of MRI data or atmospheric aerosol monitoring). Atmospheric Sciences, Engineering and Environmental Sciences, Geophysics, Medical and Health Related Research, Oceanography and Marine Sciences, and Space Physics are the subcategories of the Science and Engineering section. On these pages, a wide range of items are available: articles from ARSC's newsletter Challenges, animations of computer models and simulations (MPEG, .gif), satellite images, links to laboratories, and more. Summaries of research techniques and specific projects describe the issues driving research, the hows and whys of models used, and brief overviews of the results (if available). Other highlights of the site include an index of the center's software with descriptions and links, an image map and text description of the ARSC computer system, and the newsletter, Challenges, providing fresh, illustrated articles on computer modeling research. Those in the Fairbanks area might also be interested in the daily local weather reports. ARSC's Website is a good place to take a brief look at the numerous computer modeling and simulation research techniques in use today, especially those dealing with high latitude regions. [HCS]
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The Ancient Bristlecone Pine
Written by tree enthusiast Leonard Miller with additional input from expert dendrochronologists (including Dr. Henri Grissino-Mayer), this interesting and beautifully illustrated Website gives the reader insights about the oldest tree on earth: the Ancient Bristlecone Pine. The resource provides background information on the discovery of these ancient trees, the geographic setting of the westernmost trees in the US, growth (and other) characteristics of Bristlecone Pines, dendrochronology (the dating of past climate events using tree ring growth), and a select bibliography on Bristlecone Pines, among other topics. An internal search feature (keyword) streamlines the information mining process. [LXP]
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The Golem Project [Windows 95/98/NT]
From engineers at Brandeis University comes this wild world of evolutionary robotics. Golem ("Genetically Organized Lifelike Electro Mechanics"), named for the Jewish legend of the golem, is a project involving electro-mechanical objects that build themselves according to basic principles of evolution. In the words of the investigators: "In the Golem project we conducted a set of experiments in which simple electro-mechanical systems evolved from scratch to yield physical locomoting machines. Like biological lifeforms whose structure and function exploit the behaviors afforded by their own chemical and mechanical medium, our evolved creatures take advantage of the nature of their own medium - thermoplastic, motors, and artificial neurons." Visitors to the Golem Project site can read about the project's inspiration, the design and construction of the robots, and some preliminary results and conclusions. An explanation of the physics behind the simulation of mechanics and neural control of a machine is given also, with formulae and graphics. A particularly interesting feature of the site is the downloadable program (available as a screensaver, Golem 2.42, or as a stand-alone program, Live Truss 1.2) that simulates the Golem project by evolving bodies and brains of electromechanical robots, and animating some on the screen (Win95/98/NT, 740K). The animated bodies created by the program can leave your computer and migrate to other computers that have the program (see the site for logistical and copyright details). [HCS]
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Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC)
Located at the gateway of arctic North America, Churchill (Manitoba) is best known for its polar bear viewing opportunities, and for its rich summer bird life. It is also home to the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating arctic research and education. The CNSC homepage provides an overview of the Centre, with an emphasis on current research and education projects. Scientists, educators, or students interested in working in Churchill will find this Website instructive. [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:

European Environmental Education Newsletter (EEEN)
Written by professionals at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (Germany), the European Environmental Education Newsletter strives "to provide further insights into the subject matter of environmental education and on matters related to sustainability, with an international flavor." To that end, the newsletter provides updates of current events as well as announcements of upcoming meetings, educational materials, and publications, with an emphasis on Europe. [LXP]
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NASA Releases New Way to Measure Drought [.tiff, QuickTime]
NASA has unveiled its new Multi-Spectral Drought Indexer (MSDI), improving existing technology for measuring absorption and reflection of sunlight by plants in order to make maps of unprecedented detail. The data, which come from satellites, are translated by researchers into monthly maps of vegetation color changes, thus indicating how much soil moisture is available to plants. The existing index, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), has been in operation for 20 years, providing a relatively long time range over which to track plant moisture. Ultimately, the 20-year data in combination with the new high resolution data will be used to predict the intensity of future droughts. This site provides an overview of MSDI technology and drought studies. Highlights of the site include a page of images of North America and Africa comparing average vegetation color with that of drought years (.jpeg, .tiff), and animations of season cycles, satellite imaging technology, and drought history (QuickTime). Links to the original NASA press release and to the overseers, Goddard Space Center's Scientific Visualization Studio, are also present. Because of the potential for serious drought to immobilize nations for years at a time, the Multi-spectral Drought Indexer's release is important news to the world over. [HCS]
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New Publications

"Global Warming and Terrestrial Biodiversity Decline" -- WWF [.pdf. MS Word]
Press Release
Released on August 30, this 34-page report from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) warns that "global warming could fundamentally alter one third of plant and animal habitats by the end of this century, and cause the eventual extinction of certain plant and animal species." According to the report, the danger is greatest in the northern latitudes of Canada, Russia and Scandinavia, where warming is predicted to be the most rapid, destroying up to 70% of habitat. In many other areas it predicts local species loss of up to 20%. These predictions are based on "a moderate estimate that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere will double from pre-industrial levels during this century." However, as the press release notes, some have projected a three-fold increase in concentrations by 2010 unless corrective action is taken. The full text of the report is available in .pdf or Word format at the site, along with an executive summary, conclusions, and discussion of the methods used to create the report. [MD]

New CRS Reports
Sixteen new and seventy-eight updated Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports have been added to the National Library for the Environment Website. Reports cover the Environmental Protection Agency's FY2001 budget, Forest Service revenue-sharing, campaign finance, and labor issues, among other topics. [LXP]

Three on Waterfowl from the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) [.zip]
"Bufflehead Brood In Northeastern South Dakota"
"Mallard Brood Survival in Prairie Pothole Landscapes"
"Waterfowl and Habitat Changes After 40 Years on the Waubay Study Area"
The results of several research projects on waterfowl have recently been posted online at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) homepage. Based on previously published information, the online resources summarize research projects/results in varied detail, and include background information, references, and tables and figures. The first resource, on Buffleheads, was written by Michael B. Whitt and was originally published in the Prairie Naturalist in 1999 [31(2):119-120]. The second resource, on mallard brood survival, was originally published by Gary Krapu and others in Waterfowl 2000 [13(1):18]. Scott J. McLeod and Kenneth F. Higgins published the third (and most in-depth) resource in 1998, in South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin No. 728. All three resources may be browsed online or downloaded as .zip files. [LXP]

World Meteorological Organization Antarctic Ozone Bulletin
This bulletin on the state of the ozone over the Antarctic region was released August 25 by the Switzerland-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO Bulletins, released twice monthly between August and December, are based upon provisional data from the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) stations. The purpose of these reports is to view changes in ozone over time. Averaged ground-based data from 1964 to 1976 (WMO Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1998) are used to infer changes in current ozone amounts from pre-ozone hole conditions. The August 25 Bulletin is an update to that of August 11. This report shows an average decrease of about 30 percent in the total amount of ozone overhead when compared to the 1964-76 norms. This is double the fifteen percent reported August 11 and is unusual for this time of year. [HCS]

Two Newly Online Resources from NPWRC
"Avian Inventory of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas, 1998-1999" [.pdf, .zip]
"Summer Movements and Behavior of an Arctic Wolf Canis Lupus Pack without Pups" [.zip]
In addition to the three waterfowl resources listed above, the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has posted two additional resources on-site. Janene S. Lichtenberg and Abby N. Powell wrote the first resource, originally prepared as a Report to the National Park Service Midwest Regional Office in 2000. The resource presents results of an initial baseline inventory of grassland and other bird species in Chase County, Kansas. The second resource, by L. David Mech, was originally published in 1995 in Canadian Field-Naturalist [109(4):473-475] and describes the behavior of an arctic wolf pack without pups. Both resources may be downloaded as .zip files, and the first is also available in .pdf format. [LXP]

"Modeling the Potential Spatial Distribution of Beef Cattle Grazing Using a Geographic Information System"
In this scientific article, authors Timothy G. Wade and others use Boolean logic and Geographic Information System (GIS) models to predict where beef cattle are most and least likely to graze (in Oregon). The resource was originally published in Journal of Arid Environments in 1998 [38(2):357-365]. [LXP]

"Bringing Back the Lahonton Cutthroat Trout: Restoring Habitat for Fish and People"
Jason B. Dunham originally published this article in 1998 in Trout [39(2):20-29]. In this photo-illustrated resource, Dunham provides an historical overview of Lahonton Cutthroat Trout in Nevada and describes recent recovery efforts. [LXP]

Sample Articles from the Electrochemical Society [.pdf]
Sample articles that the Electrochemical Society deems particularly noteworthy from the Journal of the Electrochemical Society and Electrochemical Solid State Letters are available online in .pdf format. The Society describes the journals as follows: "Each issue of the Journal includes over 400 pages of over 60 original papers that are selected by a prestigious editorial board on topics covering both electrochemical and solid-state science and technology. Papers published in Letters represent the same kind of important scientific and technical breakthroughs featured in the past in the Letters-section of the Journal.Letters is a joint publication of The Electrochemical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Electron Devices Society (EDS)." Five articles, all very recent, are featured at the sample page. [HCS]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

The First Society in Computing: Careers in Computing

World-Wide Worker: Oil and Gas Jobs
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Three National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowships for Those Early in their Careers
NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science and Engineering (NSF-NATO)
Deadline: November 28, 2000
International Research Fellowship Program (IRFP)
Deadline: November 15, 2000 (in future years, November 1 annually)
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Microbial Biology
Deadline: First Monday in October 2000-2003

Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy (PEET) -- NSF
Deadline: March 1, 2001 and continuing in odd-numbered years

International Opportunities for Scientists and Engineers -- NSF
Deadlines: variable

Information Technology Research Grants -- NSF
Pre-proposal Deadlines: depend on size of proposal (range: Nov-Dec 2000)
Full Proposal Deadlines: depend on size of proposal (range: Jan-Apr 2001)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grants and Special Programs
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Annual Meeting 2001
June 3-6, 2001, Denver, Colorado
Abstracts Due: October 18, 2000

2001: An Ocean Odyssey
October 21-28, 2001, Mar del Plata, Argentina
Abstracts Due: February 28, 2001

American Chemical Society National Meeting
April 1-5, 2001, San Diego, California
Abstracts Due: November 1-30, 2000 (varies according to division)

Genetic Manipulation of Insects
February 5-11, 2001, Taos, New Mexico
Abstracts Due: October 5, 2000
Early Registration: December 5, 2000

ASLO Aquatic Sciences 2001
February 12-16, 2001, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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New Data

NODC Coastal Water Temperature Guide: Near Real-Time Data
NOAA's National Oceanographic Data Center provides this site, offering temperature data for coastal waters of the United States. Based on NOAA/National Ocean Service (NOS) tide stations and NOAA/National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) buoys, the data offered at this site include present temperatures for a range of sites within each state (or region), in addition to the "climatological average" temperature for each month. By clicking on the current temperature, users can access the time series plots from the last few hours of NOS Water Temperature data (assigned by tide station) or link to the NDBC Buoy Page for that location. Note that these data have not yet been quality controlled and may contain errors. [LXP]
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Atmospheric carbon dioxide record from Mauna Loa
The Scripps Institute of Oceanography has released these data consisting of monthly carbon dioxide concentrations at Mauna Loa 1958-1999. Measurements were made using a nondispersive infrared gas analyzer with a water vapor freeze trap. The data are available as graphs or tables. The text includes a brief overview of the methods and a reference list. [HCS]
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The Vibrio cholerae Genome Database -- TIGR
The Institute For Genomic Research (TIGR) has placed online the latest versions of the DNA sequence of both chromosomes of the cholera pathogen Vibrio cholerae. The TIGR site offers data access via a hypertext Gene Identification Table, DNA Molecule Information, Gene Name Search, Locus Search, RNA Gene Table, Paralogous Gene Families, a Sequence Search, or by download (FTP). Originally published by Heidelberg et al. in the journal Nature [106:477-483, 2000], further information is available to users via links at the TIGR site. [LXP]
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Two on Snow and Ice
MODIS Image Shows Below-Average Snow Cover in North America
Adjusted Monthly Precipitation, Snowfall and Rainfall for Canada (1874-1990)
The first site is a newly released figure displaying maximum snow cover over North America for the 1999-2000 winter season. Colored lines indicate the "average" extent of snow cover so that from the figure it can be inferred that the winter of 1999-2000 had below average snowfall. The data were collected by the MODIS sensor, which flies aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. The second site updates data collected from 6,692 stations in Canada showing average monthly snowfall and rainfall in Canada. The page is managed by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA bought the original data from the Canadian Atmospheric Environment Service (AES) in the early 1990s and adjusted the measurements to account for inconsistencies and changes in instrumentation over the period of record. The data along with the summary, overview, references, and other such documentation are available in HTML format. [HCS]
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In The News

Ecosystem Responses to Global Warming
1. "150-year Global Ice Record Reveals Major Warming Trend"
2. "Cholera Outbreaks Trace To El Nino"
3. "El Nino May Skew The Balance Of Marine Ecosystem"
4. Science
5. Geophysical Research Letters
6. Lake Ice Analysis Group -- UW
7. Remote Sensing of Cholera Outbreaks
8. ENN Special Reports: El Nino
9. SeaWIFS -- NASA
Last week, scientific results from three unrelated but complementary projects were announced, contributing to a greater understanding of global warming and ecosystem-wide responses to warming events (such as El Nino). The first article, appearing in the September 8, 2000 issue of Science and spearheaded by Dr. John Magnuson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, documents a change in freeze and ice breakup dates for lakes and rivers across the Northern Hemisphere. The researchers found consistent evidence of later freeze and earlier breakup of ice during an 150-year span (1846-1995) at lakes and rivers across the US, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, and Japan. In continuing their research, Magnuson and colleagues plan to investigate the effects of extreme climate signals, such as El Nino, within the longer time series. A second research project, led by researchers at Cornell University and also published in the September 8 Science, links cholera outbreaks to climate cycles (such as El Nino) using a mathematical model. Third, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (published in the September 15 issue of Geophysical Research Letters), have described how El Nino events may skew the equilibrium of phytoplankton in ocean currents, with important consequences for food webs and carbon dioxide concentrations -- which, in turn, may affect global warming. The combination of these three scientific articles and the complex interactions they discuss, form the focus of this week's In The News.

The first three resources describe the recent advances in global warming and ecosystem-wide responses to climate events. News briefs are provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1) and Environmental News Network (2) and (3). Further details of each study are published in the journals Science(4) and Geophysical Research Letters(5); note that an online subscription (either University- or individual-based) is required to access the full text of articles, although abstracts may be browsed freely. For information related to the lake ice study described above, this Website (6) from the Lake Ice Analysis Group provides further information. For researchers interested in studying the ecological connection between El Nino and cholera outbreaks, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and NASA's Center for Health Applications of Aerospace Related Technologies (CHAART) offer a project description with interesting color images (7). A wide selection of information on El Nino is provided here (8), courtesy of the Environmental News Network. Satellite images of ocean characteristics (e.g., temperature or phytoplankton concentration) used in global studies are posted at NASA's Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Webpage (9), which serves as a gateway to large-scale data sources. Finally, for further Internet resources related to El Nino, see the June 10, 1998 issue of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering. [LXP]
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