NetWatch

Science  07 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5378, pp. 747
  1. COOL IMAGES: Primal Portraits

    This grimacing mandrill comes from the Primate Gallery, a collection of hundreds of photos and drawings curated by Tim Knight, a computer imaging expert and biologist in Seattle. Contributed by professional photographers, amateurs, and scientists, the images run the gamut from wild mountain gorillas in a forest to a captive mouse lemur cradled in someone's hand.

    The Primate Gallery lists all 234 living species of primates, duly noting the many that are endangered or threatened, and features a detailed write-up on a species about every month. www.selu.com/∼bio/PrimateGallery

  2. Hot Picks

    Recipe book. The skimpy amount of space given to techniques in most journals inspired Biological Procedures Online, “a free-access electronic journal that examines in greater detail the methods of research previously published in any field of biology or biochemistry.” Check out the first issue at www.science.uwaterloo.ca/∼mwreimer/bpo.htm

    Green acres. You'll find maps of the world's rainforests, California's redwoods, protected forests in Bangladesh, and much more on this page of hyperlinks to vegetation maps. www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/branner/vegmaps.htm

    Seeing red. Relive last year's Mars mission at the National Geographic's new Return to Mars site, where you can view animations of Pathfinder's landing, gaze across the planet's rocky surface in three dimensions, and take a spin in a virtual rover. www.nationalgeographic.com/features/98/mars

  3. NET NEWS: Journals Endorse "Electronic Linking" Plan

    A vision of the Web as a seamless scientific cyberlibrary has just come a step closer to reality. Many scientific publishers have endorsed an “electronic linking” proposal under which the National Library of Medicine (NLM), home of the online MedLine biomedical abstracts, would create a new database so that electronic citations could be linked across all scientific and engineering fields, from astronomy to zoology.

    PubRef, as it's been dubbed, wouldn't be directly searchable and would in fact be invisible to users, says Kenneth Fulton, executive director of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which is spearheading the plan. Instead, behind the scenes, PubRef would supply hyperlinks for references in online articles. The result would be that for someone reading, say, an astrophysics paper in Science, a referenced paper or its abstract in Physical Review Letters would be just a mouse click away. (Depending on the journal, viewing the paper might require a subscription or fee.) “This is something that's clearly going to be very useful for the community, and we can do it at minimal cost,” says NLM's David Lipman.

    More than 40 scientific publishers and societies (including AAAS, which publishes Science) and other groups have signed on to a 31 July letter from NAS president Bruce Alberts to NLM director Donald Lindberg describing the plan. Lipman says it's now up to journals to submit citation URLs, but once that happens PubRef could be up and running in 5 months.

  4. SITE VISIT: Tree-Ring Circus

    Way back before there was a National Weather Service, trees were keeping faithful records of rainfall and temperature, outbreaks of pesky bugs, and charring fires. The Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages (www.valdosta.edu/∼grissino) serves up an exhaustive supply of info on how tree-ring researchers, known woodenly as dendrochronologists, unlock the environmental histories hidden in the rings of trees.

    The site's offerings range from a primer on dendrochronology and advice on the best chain saws, to countless links to tree-ring articles, research labs, jobs, lessons for elementary school students, and more— all reviewed by site developer Henri Grissino-Mayer of Valdosta State University in Georgia. The merely curious might start with the huge bibliography and the photo gallery of telltale trees and tree rings (complete with quiz). Delving deeper, one can access a discussion forum about the field, or the International Tree-Ring Data Bank—paleoclimate data from 1500 sites in more than 50 countries—and other climate and botany databases. Grissino-Mayer also posts news articles: Recently, for example, tree-ring studies in Virginia suggested that severe drought may have done in the Lost Colony, the first New World settlement by the English (Science, 24 April, p. 564).

  5. Science Online

    Are universities churning out too many Ph.D.s? Science's Next Wave has been running a reader poll on this question as part of a recent feature on a career survey taken by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) of its members. The results of the poll—as well as reader comments on the findings of the ASCB survey—are being released today. http://www.nextwave.org/

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