The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - February 14, 2001

February 14, 2001

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

The target audience of the 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


Earth Observing System (EOS) Data Access [.pdf]
EOS Data Products Handbook (Volume 2, 2000)
EOS Data Products Handbook (Volume 1, 1997)
NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) is a coordinated system of satellites that collect data (e.g., images) of the earth's land surface and oceans, providing an important window into our understanding of earth processes including the biosphere and atmosphere. The handbooks briefly describe the data products available from completed and planned EOS missions. Published in 2000, Volume 2 (6.2 Mb, in .pdf format) covers the Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor Satellite (ACRIMSAT), Aqua, Jason-1, Landsat 7, Meteor 3M/Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III), the Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat), the Quick Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (QuikTOMS), and the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) missions. Volume 1, originally published in 1997, also in .pdf format, covers the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the Terra mission (formerly named EOS AM-1), and the Data Assimilation System. For scientists interested in accessing satellite data, these handbooks will be an excellent reference. [LXP]
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Software and Data for Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibrium Calculations in Geology
This metasite provides links to software and datasets available on the Web for thermodynamics and phase equilibrium calculations applicable to igneous and metamorphic petrology and aqueous geochemistry. Examples of links found here are the MELTS page of Java applets for modeling crystallization of magmatic systems; WEBINVEQ, a database for pressure and temperature equilibration of minerals; and The Geochemist's Workbench. A brief description is given for each link, and the links are arranged by discipline. Links to commercial sites, Web directories, and programming tools are also provided. The site is maintained by Dr. Terry Gordon, a petrologist in the Geology and Geophysics Department at the University of Calgary. [HCS]
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Three on the Status of Fishery Resources along the US Atlantic Coast
Status of the Fishery Resources of the Northeast United States -- NEFSC
Final US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Stock Assessments: 2000 -- NEFSC [.pdf]
Series of five reports on Marine Mammal Stock Assessment [.pdf]
These three scientific resources provide information on fishery resources along the Atlantic Coast of the US. The first resource, from the Resource Evaluation and Assessment Division of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), gives a detailed overview of the status of fishery resources in the Northeast US (see Introduction section). Second, this final report (NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-162) from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center compiles stock assessment information for marine mammals in US Atlantic/ Gulf of Mexico waters. Edited by G.T. Waring, J.M. Quintal, and S.L. Swartz, the recent report is fifth in its series and includes new information on population size, mortality estimates, genetics, human interactions (ship strikes to whales), and first-time abundance estimates for Western North Atlantic stocks of Atlantic Spotted and Pantropical Spotted Dolphins. The reports may be downloaded in .pdf format or viewed online. [LXP]
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Catalogue of the Fossil Flies of the World (Insecta: Diptera)
This online database from the Bishop Museum, Honolulu is an excellent resource for entomologists and paleontologists. The paper version of the Catalogue contains over 3,100 species of fossil flies (Order: Diptera) from all over the world. Flies of the Order Diptera are one of the most successful groups of insects, comprising an estimated 120,000 taxonomically valid species. The online version has all of the contents of the original plus regular updates, so it provides the most current information on fossil dipteran taxonomy. The catalog listings are by Family (each family name is a link). Database entries include a two- to three-paragraph summary of diversity, habitat, geographic and temporal range and classification notes for each family, and a list of genera and their type-species, locality, and temporal range. Two families of Prodiptera are also included in the database. Besides the taxonomic information, a fabulous section on major workers and collections dealing with diptera is featured. Notes on preservation and taphonomy, nomenclatural notes, and a link to the Bishop Museum Entomology homepage round out this site. [HCS]
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Free Online Full-text Articles from HighWire Press: Update [QuickTime, .gzip]
Stanford University's HighWire Press assists in the online publication of journals (free and for a fee). In addition, as announced last year, HighWire Press also offers over 222,000 free, full-text articles from 110 peer-reviewed scientific journals. More free articles are archived each month (by approximately 8,000 articles) and may be accessed via this list of journals with free issues or trial periods. Now, HighWire Press offers an added feature on the article access page: the timing of the release of each free journal issue, and the time period after which subscription-only articles become freely available to viewers. [LXP]
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The Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Project
The Center for Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides this site with data and other information from the Rossini X-Ray Timing Explorer (XTE) Mission's High Energy X-ray Timing Experiment (HEXTE). Visitors to the site can access recent, raw light curve data (HTML) using the ASM (All-Sky Monitor) Data Extraction Form into which source name, coordinates, start and stop time, and type of band intensity results (chi-sq., theta, pi, etc.) can be entered. Plots of light curves, updated weekly, are accessible through the ASM Light Curves page which gives a selection of thumbnail images that can be clicked on for details. The All-Sky Monitor Cross Box page "showcases events when two strong detections of new source candidates yield overlapping error boxes in the realtime analysis" and a link to the STSci Digitized Sky Survey data. QuickTime and g-zipped animations and interviews with astronomers can be downloaded from the All Sky Monitor Movies Page. The animation of the X-Ray sky, created from the detected light curves, shows stellar systems, galaxies, and black holes as they appear from x-ray detectors. Descriptions of the clips precede the animations. Weekly summaries of the XTE craft's position are also available. The high volume of numeric information posted makes the site a bit difficult for people unfamiliar with the x-ray data to navigate, but space scientists will be able to find items of interest here. [HCS]
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Learning Resources

ESA EdWeb Ecology Course Syllabus Exchange
As part of the Ecological Society of America (ESA)'s EdWeb (described in the January 31, 2001 Scout Report for Science & Engineering), this site features course syllabi for undergraduate and graduate ecology courses. Over 40 professors/ lecturers have posted links to their Websites at the page, covering undergraduate introductory ecology (n=25), advanced undergraduate/ graduate ecology (n=23), undergraduate/ graduate conservation biology (n=5), undergraduate environmental science and studies (n=14), and ecology for pre- and/or in-service pre-college teachers (n=1). Course syllabi covering general ecology, urban wildlife management, and principles of ecology have recently been added, and there is currently a call for further contributions. While course pages vary in content and depth, visitors will find this an excellent source of information, offering valuable examples for those developing and/or updating ecology courses. [LXP]
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Visual Calculus [Java, Flash, LiveMath]
This Website from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Mathematics Department provides tutorials, drills, and computer programs that aid in understanding pre-calculus and calculus. The well-organized materials contain nifty animations, interactive pages, step-by-step solution applets, and illustrations. Getting the full benefits of Visual Calculus requires downloading certain free plug-ins (Flash and LiveMath -- links given) and using Java applets. Some of the topics covered include limits, continuous functions, piecewise functions, derivatives, differentiation formulas, integrals, parametric curves, moments, and sequences and series. This Website is extremely thorough and should be useful for students and professors of college-level calculus. [HCS]
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College Biology Learning Resources
Problem-based Learning in Biology
Critical Thinking in Biology: Case Problems
Pronunciation of Biological Latin
Peter Ommundsen, instructor at Selkirk College (Canada), has put together these online resources targeting undergraduates. The first two resources give an overview, examples, exercises, and references in problem-based learning and critical thinking. The third resource introduces the reader to the pronunciation of biological Latin -- a handy reference for newcomers to the language of science. All three resources are concise and serve as helpful introductions to each topic. [LXP]
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Dino Directory
The Natural History Museum of London's new dinosaur site has several features that set it apart from other dino pages. For instance, users can search by "body shape" by clicking on one of six cartoon silhouettes. The site is also searchable by time period or country. Twenty-six countries are featured, including China and Mongolia. Each country's page features a comprehensive list of the best-known dinosaur genera with links to information about the dinosaur's name (including pronunciation!), localities, size, diet, and taxonomy. An abundance of color illustrations and photographs are available for each dinosaur. Another neat feature of the site is the section about other ancient reptiles besides dinosaurs. [HCS]
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ACeKit: A Caenorhabditis elegans Survival Kit
Developed by elegans_Net, this metasite on _Caenorhabditis elegans provides everything you ever wanted to know about the model organism, including commentary by experts; the value of C. elegans to biology, biotechnology, and medicine; and links to major functional genomics and bioinformatics resources. Also at the site are links to text and images on the dynamics of C. elegans development, C. elegans anatomy, and other miscellany. [LXP]
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General Interest

Species At Risk in Canada -- Environment Canada
Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service provides this informative site on species at risk in Canada. The searchable site offers basic information on each species, including conservation status as assigned by COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) and proposed recovery. The site may be searched by species (use common or scientific name or risk status) or geographic distribution (interactive map). The mapping feature provides excellent information in an intuitive format -- such as the option to map more than one species' distribution in one view. Each species account includes taxonomic information, a description of characteristics, photograph, distribution map, and brief accounts of biology, population and distribution, habitat, threats, protection, recovery efforts, and references. [LXP]
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CICLOPS Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations
Have you ever wanted to take a close look at mighty Jupiter? Now, images of Jupiter from NASA's Cassini Spacecraft are available from the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS). Most recently, Cassini captured images of Jupiter's brightest outer satellite, Himalia. Other dazzling images include Jupiter's red spot, its polar haze, and .gif animations of storms on Jupiter (very large files). A diary of Cassini activities and a description and schematics of the imaging system are also featured. [HCS]
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Lewis & Clark: Mapping the West -- Smithsonian
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned an expedition to explore the American Northwest. One important result of this famous expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark was the mapping of the interior of the US. This Website from Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and offers background information, historical context, expedition maps, and educational resources (activities and lesson plans) on Lewis and Clark. The site's cartographic emphasis gives useful tips on mapping techniques and challenges; digital images of the original maps are in the works, and the several available maps are fascinating and well worth the look. [LXP]
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Linus Pauling Centenary [RealPlayer]
Linus Pauling was an esteemed molecular chemist, peace advocate, and two-time Nobel laureate. Pauling's home state of Oregon will be celebrating his 100th birthday this month. Oregon State University (OSU) has posted a special Pauling Centenary site. OSU Press' release of the book Linus Pauling: Scientist and Peacemaker, based on previously unpublished writings housed at the university, coincides with the centenary. The Pauling centenary site holds a timeline of significant events, scientific contributions and peace-promotion activities in Pauling's life, a link to OSU's Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers Collection, a photo gallery, and RealAudio/RealVideo clips of Pauling's lectures and interviews. After visiting this interesting site, you might even want to buy the Linus Pauling Centenary totebag! [HCS]
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Local Harvest
This resource helps consumers find locally grown organic produce and helps small farmers market to their local communities. Intended for green consumers, the site is also an interesting tool for educators and students interested in the mechanism behind sustainable consumption, especially agriculture. A collaboration between Community Alliance with Family Farmers (a group of farmers on California's central coast) and Ocean Group, the site is searchable by zipcode, crops/ products, state, farm name, or description. The site's database includes Farmers Markets, U-Pick farms, Farm Stands, Meat/ Dairy/ Egg Producers, and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) operations with regular delivery of seasonal produce to local depots. A small collection of links to articles and related sites fills out the resource. [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:

Drilling for Oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
"Health & Science: Oil industry sees now as best chance at drilling Alaska refuge lands",1080,500308807-500495977-503478538-0,00.html
"NRDC Proposes 'Responsible' Energy Policy for the 21st Century"
This news brief from The Nando Times discusses the Bush administration's plans to drill within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now that political will may be in place to override environmental opposition. The second resource, from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), describes an alternative method for meeting energy demands. [LXP]
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Two on Eros Asteroid Landing:
Touchdown on Eros
"Spacecraft Makes Historic First-Ever Asteroid Landing" [RealPlayer, QuickTime, Windows Media Player]
NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission completed an important task this week: landing on an asteroid. Just in time for Valentine's Day, Eros is the name of the asteroid successfully targeted by the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft. The craft has orbited Eros for one year, gathering the most detailed profile yet of a small celestial body and collecting ten times more data than originally planned. At the first site above, Spaceflight Now provides a picture of the craft's last view before landing, taken a mere 420 feet from Eros' surface. Other snapshots from this historic event include a 150-foot-wide boulder on the asteroid and a view of the Eros horizon. also has images from this week's landing plus an exciting, high-resolution video of the October 2000 flyby (users choose RealPlayer, QuickTime, or Windows Media Player). See the In the News section of the September 27, 2000 Scout Report for Science and Engineering for more Eros-related resources. [HCS]
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New Publications

"West Nile Virus Spread By Migrating Birds"
John H. Rappole and colleagues wrote this perspective article (for Emerging Infectious Diseases) on the potential implications of the spread of West Nile Virus by migrating birds. Although ornithophilic mosquitoes are the principal vectors of West Nile virus (in the Old World), several species of birds (mainly migrants) appear to be important introductory or amplifying hosts. Patterns of virus outbreaks in southern Europe are examined, and the authors suggest that "viremic migratory birds may also contribute to movement of the virus." [LXP]

Enhanced Oil Recovery Scoping Study [.pdf]
This huge report (.pdf) from Electric PowerResearch Institute (EPRI) covers electrical power in oil recovery, carbon dioxide and nitrogen injection for coalbed methane recovery, sequestering carbon dioxide from power plant flue gas, and thermal enhanced oil recovery technology. References, case studies, and contact information are provided. EPRI is a nonprofit agency providing science and technology consultation to the global energy industry. [HCS]

"Advisory Report on Stock Status, Northeast: 32nd SAW" [.pdf]
The Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC-NOAA) has posted the 32nd Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) advisory report. The draft report targets fishery managers and provides scientific advice on the status of the resource (e.g., various fish stocks) via technical summaries. The report (.pdf format) includes stock assessments for Gulf of Maine-Georges Bank American Plaice, Sea Scallop, Silver Hake, and Gulf of Maine Haddock. [LXP]

Mathematical Statistics Preprints from Chalmers University of Technology [PostScript, .gzip]
"Suggestions how to analyse highly episodic repeated measurements" (2001) is the most recent pre-print available from the Department of Mathematical Statistics at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Their regularly updated pre-print page has a basic search engine, and the pre-prints are in Gzipped .ps format. [HCS]

"IPCC WGI Third Assessment Report" [.pdf]
The Third Assessment Report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released this draft summary for policymakers (approved in Shanghai in January 2001), describing the current state of scientific understanding of the climate system. The report, available in .pdf format, provides considerable scientific evidence that warming is occurring across the globe and that "emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols due to human activities continue to alter the atmosphere in ways that are expected to affect the climate." [LXP]

"Quality of Chemical Measurements"
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's online newsletter, Chemistry International, posts this article about the problem of wide variation in chemical trace and catalyst measurements. This is important because such data are increasingly used in industry decision-making. In the words of the authors, "This article provides 'snapshot' pictures of chemical measurement (un)reliability, with many practical, societal implications." All text is in HTML. [HCS]

Effects of Aquaculture on World Fish Supplies [.pdf]
Issues in Ecology
Issue 8 of Issues in Ecology has been posted online. This issue (.pdf format) provides insight into the ecological effects of aquaculture on world fish supplies. The previous seven issues of this series may also be viewed at the Ecological Society of America's Issues in Ecology homepage. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education (International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies)
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Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy (PEET) -- NSF
Application Deadline: March 1, 2001

NSF Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarships (CSEMS)
Letter of Intent Deadline (optional): March 15, 2001
Full Proposal Deadline: May 1, 2001

ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers -- NSF
Letter of Intent Deadlines (optional): April 2, 2001 and May 16, 2001
Full Proposal Deadlines: May 8, 2001 and August 21-24, 2001

Activities in Science, Engineering and Mathematics for Persons with Disabilities (PPD) -- NSF
Proposal Deadline: May 15, 2001

Research Corporation Awards
Deadlines: various
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34th Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society
May 30-June 1, 2001; Towson, Maryland
Abstract Deadline: March 1, 2001

ICAAC: Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
September 22-25, 2001; Chicago, Illinois
Abstract Deadline: April 25, 2001

21st IAS Meeting of Sedimentology
September 3-5, 2001; Davos, Switzerland
Abstract Deadline: March 31, 2001

XXII International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions
July 18-24, 2001; Santa Fe, New Mexico
Abstract Deadline: March 1, 2001

Animal Behavior Society
July 14-18, 2001; Corvallis, Oregon
Abstract Deadline: May 1, 2001
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New Data

Appendices 1,2: Bryozoan Species and Their Locations, off the Coast of Argentina
These supplementary data from a recently published article in the journal Diversity and Distributions [Lopez, Gappa, 2000, 6:15-27] describe information on bryzoan species found off the coast of Argentina. Appendix 1 lists "Latitude, longitude, depth, and number of bryozoan species in benthic stations or localities along the coast, continental shelf and slope off Argentina," and Appendix 2 lists "bryozoan species, squares where they were found, and bibliographic references providing precise geographical locations for the study area." [LXP]
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Scripps Institution of Oceanography Ferromanganese Nodule Analysis File
Scripps Institution of Oceanography's database of geochemistry of marine ferromanganese nodules from the Pacific Ocean (completed in 1981 as part of the International Decade of Ocean Exploration) is newly available online. Data presented include the source, latitude/ longitude, sampling device, water depth, nodule type, and weight percentages of selected elements as well as core sediment descriptions and fossil percentages. All data are in HTML format. [HCS]
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The Beetles of the Virgin Islands
Provided in collaboration by researchers at Montana State and Ohio State universities, this database of the Beetles of the Virgin Islands contains records for over 34,000 specimens of 489 beetle species. The database also offers mapping capabilities for identifying beetle collection locations. Query by Island, Family, or Specimen to find details for each species -- including scientific name, number of specimens in the database, islands where this species has been collected, and collecting methods. [LXP]
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Global Lake and River Ice Phenology Database [.gzip]
The Global Lake and River Ice Phenology Database contains freeze and breakup dates and other ice cover descriptive data for 748 lakes and rivers distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The data set was compiled by the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from data submitted by participants in the Lake Ice Analysis Group (LIAG). The database is searchable by country, map coordinates, lake or river name, and year of record. Output can be viewed in HTML or downloaded as a gzip or ASCII file. [HCS]
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In The News

The Human Genome Unveiled: Publication of Sequence and Initial Scientific Analyses
1. "Summary of the Initial Sequencing and Analysis of the Human Genome"
2. "Junk DNA may not be such junk, genome studies find" -- ENN
3. "Genes that count"
4. "A History of the Human Genome Project"
5. The Human Genome -- Science [.pdf]
6. Celera Genomics
7. Human Genome -- Nature [.pdf]
8. US National Human Genome Research Institute
This week's In The News highlights the landmark publication of the complete human genome sequence and its scientific interpretation. Spearheaded by two separate approaches and funding sources, the outcome of some ten years of hard work -- and moments of intense competition -- is the release of two complete sequences: one led by Craig Venter of Celera Genomics (a private venture with limited access to data, previously discussed in the April 7, 2000 Scout Report) and the other by a consortium of publicly funded laboratories (led by Francis Collins of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)). The two sequences provide an excellent opportunity for comparison and convergence, opportunities that would not have been possible through a single approach. Also published this week are the first scientific analyses of the genome. These initial analyses uncover new details on the organization of the human genome and how it evolved -- including the surprising fact that humans have a smaller number of genes than previously thought, indications that some human genes may have come directly from bacteria, and variability in mutation rates among males and females. With these advances, researchers have begun to unlock the secrets of our genetic heritage and to better understand our relationship to other living creatures. Although more work lies ahead to refine and, in some places, re-sequence the human genome, this first draft, and its initial interpretation, represents a landmark achievement in science.

The first three resources offer news briefs on the much-anticipated publication of the human genome sequence and accompanying analyses. First, this brief from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) comments on the recent publication of the complete draft of the human genome, representing the combined efforts of thousands of scientists from many different institutions (1). Second, this Environmental News Network brief describes the scientific significance of recent findings (2). A third news brief from New Scientist highlights the recent advance with emphasis on the initial analyses of the genome (3); note that full commentary on the newly-published human genome data will also be published in the February 17, 2001 issue of New Scientist magazine. For a history of the Human Genome Project, see this historical summary page from Science magazine (4). In addition to these brief resources, the heart of information on the complete human genome sequence and numerous initial scientific analyses are provided via two main resources: Science magazine's Special Issue (5), featuring the sequence spearheaded by Celera Genomics (6), and a complementary special issue of Nature magazine (7), featuring the sequence led by the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium and the US National Human Genome Research Institute (8). The free online issues of Science and Nature contain the genome sequences -- with .pdf maps of each chromosome -- as well as a suite of peer-reviewed scientific research papers and ethical and historical commentary -- to provide context for this historic breakthrough. [LXP]
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The Scout Report for Science & Engineering (ISSN 1533-144X) 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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