The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - June 6, 2001

June 6, 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


Alg@line Database
Maintained by the Finnish Institute of Marine Research and several other institutions, the Alg@line Database offers updated reports on the conditions of phytoplankton and related parameters in the Baltic Sea. The reports, which vary in length and detail (though most are brief), summarize measurements of Oxygen, Salinity, Temperature, Nutrients, Harmful substances, Plankton, Zooplankton, Benthic Animals, Flow, and Other measurements. In addition, the Maps and Figures section offers numerous color images (including satellite) of Baltic Sea conditions and marine organisms. To access reports by geographic subregion of the Baltic, head to the Reports section. Finally, the Latest News section keeps researchers abreast of changing conditions (e.g., algal blooms) and research cruises in the Baltic. For researchers or anyone else wanting in-depth information on a host of ecological parameters for the Baltic Sea, this is an excellent reference site. [LXP]
[Back to Contents] is an international mass spectrometry Web resource. It features news and feature articles related to mass spectrometry, gleans important updates from scientific journals, and provides conference and career links. This month's features include a piece about organic molecules hitchhiking aboard a comet, an abstract on using mass spectrometry to image tissue, and program highlights from last month's American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) conference in Chicago. Researchers and professors in physical chemistry, biochemistry, or any discipline using mass spectrometry should have a look at [HCS]
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A Synonymized Checklist of the Vascular Flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland
The Digital Checklist is a joint project of The Biota of North America Program, BONAP (North Carolina Botanical Garden) and the Museum Informatics Project (University of California at Berkeley). This no-frills Checklist contains a wealth of information, including scientific and common names of North American Flora (and any synonyms), a "dot map" of state or provincial distribution of taxa, and a list of distributional locality names. The Checklist may be queried by text search or hierarchy select, with results available in "browse" (e.g., further options) or "phytogeography and synonymy" modes (no further options). To access the Checklist, first-time users should read the overview and instructions in the Getting Started section. [LXP]
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Material Safety Data Sheet
The Loctite corporation, which manufactures sealants, adhesives and coatings, has recently posted online a searchable database of materials safety information pages. Users enter keywords to retrieve listings of composition, physical properties, toxicity, and stability of compounds. Recommendations for storage and disposal, emergency first aid, and fire management are also provided. The database features Locite products exclusively, but it does contain substantial listings that researchers and workers handling chemicals might need. [HCS]
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Sea Anemones of the World
This impressive site is comprised of an electronic catalog of species (of Actiniaria, Corallimorpharia, and Ptychodactiaria), a bibliography of literature in which those species were described, and an inventory of type specimens for more than 1,300 species of Sea Anemones. Distribution maps and images are also available for most type specimens. Led by Dr. Daphne Fautin of the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Kansas, this impressive initiative targets researchers in particular, but is an excellent resource for educators and students as well. The site is searchable by Genus, Species, Museum, Author, Year, or Distribution; typical returns lead the viewer to concise information on the species' original description, the type specimen's locality and museum, and one to several images of the species (color images, black-and-white illustrations, and more). [LXP]
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Learning Resources

The Rainforest Database
Provided by Living Earth Foundation, an international non-governmental organization, The Rainforest Database is an educational resource on rainforests and the indigenous peoples that live within rainforests. Although currently under construction, the Website offers thirteen chapters of text (figures will be added later) with hyperlinks to a glossary. Text chapters cover geographic occurrence of rainforests, plant and animal diversity, nutrient cycling, the evolutionary plant-herbivore war, and human forest dwellers of Latin America, among other topics. For undergraduates or those new to the topic, this will be a fine resource. [LXP]
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Hyperphysics is "a broad-ranging interactive physics exploration environment which is written in HTML with Javascript calculation routines." It was developed by Professor Rod Nave of Georgia State University and is available online as well as on CD-ROM. An excellent resource for physics educators and students, HyperPhysics gives flashcard-like summary pages for a huge array of topics in physics. Navigating through the chain of bubble-diagramed topical listings can be somewhat tedious, but the information provided is good and there is a substantial amount of it. The main subject headings include mechanics, thermodynamics and heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, relativity, quantum physics, nuclear physics, and condensed matter. [HCS]
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TreeGuide: The Natural History of Trees
This excellent commercial site offers news, features, and information about trees, with an emphasis on North American trees (including natives, naturalized, and ornamental). Designed for the general public, the site includes many "gee whiz" curiosities, adding interest to every topic and making this a great resource for undergraduates. The content of the site includes full taxonomic information, current news, and partially-completed information on regional trees, tree biology, and "superlative" trees. At present, about 150 of 1,000 trees are described in the database, with completion of the database "anticipated by the second quarter of 2001." Definitely worth the visit! [LXP]
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Dave's Equation Balancer
This on-line calculator lets you balance equations with the touch of a button. You enter the compounds or elements for both reactants and products and the program provides the balanced equation (note that it cannot handle ionic formulae). A nifty homework-helper for chemistry students. [HCS]
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General Interest

International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001-2002
The International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001-2002, or IBOY, is a grassroots effort of the international scientific, education and media communities. An Initiative of DIVERSITAS (a European-based international program of biodiversity science), IBOY seeks to promote and integrate biodiversity science, and "to increase communication of science-based information on biodiversity and its links to daily living." The IBOY homepage provides background information on IBOY, including aims and methods, the core project, and a history of its origin. Also on the site are biodiversity related resources, including meetings, educational information, biodiversity informatics, and conservation/ research organizations. [LXP]
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Induced Seismicity Bibliography
This site, hosted by attorney and author Darlene Cypser, contains a bibliography of references dealing with induced seismicity; that is, earthquakes caused by human activities such as mining, nuclear testing or petroleum production. The homepage contains an author's note explaining that most induced seismicity is not damaging, and provides a list of the bibliography's categories. The categories are arranged by source of induced seismicity (e.g., oil and gas, nuclear testing, etc.). Additional sections, such as one on legal implications of induced earthquakes, and another comprised of magazine and newspaper citations, are also included. [HCS]
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Forest Conservation Portal
The Forest Conservation Portal is maintained by, a non-governmental organization dedicated to "ending deforestation, preserving old-growth forests, conserving all forests, maintaining climatic systems and commencing the age of ecological restoration." At the Portal, users will find a large series of news articles and resources on forests, forest regions, forest ecology, forest destruction and protection, and related information. Intended for activists and activism, this site contains current news with international coverage. [LXP]
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The Zero Saga
We have heard of calling someone "a total zero" as an insult, but what does "zero" really mean? This thoughtful and informative Website from Dr. Hossein Arsham, Wright Distinguished Research Professor of Statistics and Management Science at the University of Baltimore, discusses the history and philosophy of zero. Items presented include arguments for and against dividing by zero, the ideas of zero as a void and as a number, zero in limits, square roots, and divergent series and floating points. The text is peppered with links to related mathematics, computer science, and history of mathematics sites. The Zero Saga is a good read for mathematicians, college and graduate level students in mathematics, or anyone interested in logic. [HCS]
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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:

NASA Gives Go-ahead To Build 'Deep Impact' Spacecraft
NASA's Deep Impact mission will attempt to impact a comet nucleus in order to answer basic questions about the nature of comets. Deep Impact's preliminary design phase was completed and approved last week. NASA will now begin building the mission's two spacecraft, a flyby spacecraft and a 350-kilogram (771-pound) impactor spacecraft, for a launch in January 2004. This news brief on Deep Impact comes from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, leaders of the project. [HCS]
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Two on the Destroyed Hyper-X Aircraft:
"X-43 A Destroyed In Flight After Booster Goes Awry"
NASA Langley research Center : Hyper-X [QuickTime]
The maiden flight of the unmanned X-43A "Hyper X" research aircraft, intended to revolutionize air travel, ended in failure Saturday when NASA managers were forced to blow it up over the Pacific Ocean after its attached Pegasus booster rocket veered out of control. The first site listed here is the a news story from Aviation Week's online feature, Aviation Now. The next site, supplied by NASA's Langley Research Center, contains QuickTime animated flight simulations of the Hyper-X. [HCS]
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New Publications

Restoration Bi-Weekly Update -- EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides bi-weekly updates on river corridor and wetland restoration efforts. Each Update describes and highlights a current recovery effort (such as salmon in Washington) and gives current news briefs relating to ecological restoration. [LXP]

The Pacific Journal of Mathematics Volume 199, No. 2, June, 2001 [PostScript, .pdf, .dvi, .hyperdvi]
Ten new articles have been added to the online journal Pacific Journal of Mathematics. Some sample titles include "Closed conformal vector fields and Lagrangian submanifolds in complex space forms," "Approximation with normal operators with finite spectrum, and an elementary proof of a Brown-Douglas-Fillmore theorem," "Uniform integrability of approximate Green functions of some degenerate elliptic operators," and "On mixed products of complex characters of the double covers of the symmetric groups." Articles are available in .ps, .pdf, or .dvi format. [HCS]

"Methods of analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory: Processing, taxonomy, and quality control of benthic macroinvertebrate samples" [.pdf]
This US Geological Survey Open-File Report (00-212) describes analytical techniques for benthic macroinvertebrates. Available in .pdf format, the 49-page report includes information on such analytical techniques as chemical equipment supplies, taxonomic identification, and more. [LXP]

"A Fourier series formula for energy of measures with applications to Riesz products" [PostScript, .gzip]
The newest pre-print from the Department of Mathematics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden is available in .ps format. [HCS]

"Doubling Up: A Profile of US Scientists and Engineers Who Hold Second Jobs"
This NSF report offers text and tables, for any scientist or engineer with enough time to read it. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education
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MacArthur Foundation: Program on Global Security and Sustainability

Amersham and Pharmacia Biotech Science Prize for Young Scientists
Entries Due: July 16, 2001

The Pew Charitable Trusts
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Fifth European Nitrogen Fixation Conference
September 6-10, 2002; Norwich, UK
Abstract deadline: May 30, 2002

International Symposium on Micro/ nanoscale Energy Conversion and Transport
April 14-19, 2002; Antalya, Turkey
Abstract deadline: October 1, 2001

XIIth International Conference on AIDS and STDs in Africa
December 9-13, 2001; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Abstract deadline: July 31, 2001
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New Data

Angiosperm DNA C-Values Database Query: Release 3.0
Provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), the Angiosperm DNA C-Values Database Query enables users to search for DNA C-Values (i.e., the amount of DNA in the unreplicated, haploid nuclear genome) of flowering plants. First described in the March 4, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering, the peer-reviewed database has since been expanded and updated. Now at release 3.0, the total number of species listed in the database is 3493, and 1C DNA amounts are now included (expressed in megabase pairs, Mbp). Queries require email interaction, but can include a wealth of information, from basic Genus/ Species and 4C DNA range, to Ploidy level, life cycle, estimation method, and more. [LXP]
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Mollusk Bibliography Database
The newly online Mollusk Bibliography Database includes over 10,000 references on freshwater mollusks. A collaborative effort by Kevin Cummings, Illinois Natural History Survey; Art Bogan, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences; Tom Watters, the Ohio State University Museum of Biological Diversity; and Christine Mayer, Illinois Natural History Survey, the searchable bibliography project was funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. The initial goal of the bibliography was "to try and build a database of every published reference on freshwater mussels in North America;" that effort has expanded to including references worldwide (albeit, not an exhaustive collection). Search options include author, date, title, journal, and volume searches, and may also be restricted or broadened via a combination of geographic, taxonomic, or subject fields. [LXP]
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Ant Database
Research entomologist Ted Schultz from the Smithsonian Institution maintains this impressive work in progress. This online database represents the Smithsonian's identified ant collection, including 4,580 valid named species or subspecies. The taxonomy is current with Bolton's 1995 catalog and includes reported holdings through June 1998. The database may be queried by Subfamily, Tribe, Genus, Subgenus, Species, Subspecies, Author, or Types, and typical returns give concise taxonomic information, total specimens (workers, females, and males), author, and year. [LXP]
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In The News

20th Anniversary of the Discovery of AIDS
1. "AIDS approaches grim anniversary"
3. HIV InSite
4. The Body: An AIDS and HIV information resource
5. AIDS economics
6. National center for HIV, STD and TB prevention
7. National Library of Medicine: HIV/AIDS resources
8. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Twenty years ago in Los Angeles, a bizarre new disease appeared in five patients, whose bodies were unable to thwart infections of exotic microbes. This disease became to be known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and has since infected nearly 60 million people worldwide. Twenty-two million have died from these infections. In the two decades since its first description, AIDS has grown to become a focal issue for public education, research, and societal welfare. Despite heroic efforts in medical research and education, a cure for AIDS has eluded science, and the disease has reached epidemic proportions in many parts of the world. This week's In The News highlights recent progress in research, development of social issues in response to AIDS, and a variety of other resources relevant to AIDS.

USA Today offers the first news brief (1), introducing the 20th anniversary of AIDS and highlighting some of the prominent issues that have developed around this disease. UNAIDS, a joint program run by several international agencies (e.g., UNICEF, UNESCO, World Bank), describes a wealth of information about AIDS/ HIV on the global scale at the second site (2). Featured here are recent medical developments in AIDS research and clinical care, downloadable slideshows about the development of the AIDS epidemic, and many other informative features for education. The third site, developed by the University of California San Francisco (3), presents current information on AIDS treatment, prevention, and policy; this site includes many recent news releases concerning AIDS issues throughout the world. Fourth, from The Body (by Body Health Resources Corporation) (4), are numerous educational resources about AIDS. This excellent site reflects The Body's mission: to improve information flow between patients and clinicians, and to provide up-to-date information on AIDS treatments. World Bank AIDS Economics provides the fifth site (5), offering "data, tools, and analysis for compassionate, cost-effective responses to the global HIV/ AIDS epidemic". Next, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers an educational site (6) dedicated to recent news items and publications covering development of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. The US National Library of Medicine presents an information hub for data and fact sheets on the AIDS epidemic (7). Finally, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome site (8) addresses the United States' "research needs created by the advent and spread of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic." [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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