NetWatch

Science  17 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5495, pp. 1255
  1. RESOURCES: Primate House

    With those dreaded holiday family reunions around the corner, maybe it's time to get to know some of your more distant cousins at the Primate Information Network. Aimed at both specialists and the general public, this clearinghouse at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center in Madison logs 450,000 hits a month from visitors eager to learn about chimps, gorillas, monkeys, gibbons, lemurs, and their kin.

    For a quick overview, flip through the fact sheets that cover most of the world's 235 species of primates. A barrelful of links delve more deeply into the biology, taxonomy, and conservation of primate species, many of which are reeling from habitat destruction and wanton hunting. In the site's audiovisual collection, you can listen to the squeaking of hungry pygmy chimps or download charming illustrations from an 1833 natural history book.

    Other offerings include a bibliography, a discussion forum, searchable indices of researchers and organizations worldwide, and a jobs list. Aspiring primatologists will find frank advice from people in the field. Or you can submit a question to the Ask Primate feature. A primate will answer it, usually within 24 hours.

    www.primate.wisc.edu/pin

  2. LINKS: Probing the Glass Ceiling

    A neuroscientist sends out the same CV under two first names—one male, the other female—and gets a far more positive response to the man's application. Anecdotes like this fuel the debate over why women scientists lag behind their male peers in pay and status.

    Anyone wanting to know more about the so-called chilly climate for women in science will find plenty to chew on at the Women in Biology Internet Launch Page. Created by Salk Institute molecular biologist Susan Forsburg, the site is a collection of links to scads of online articles and reports from the past decade or so. There are studies of pay disparities, essays on whether socialization holds women back, and MIT's 1999 report finding bias against women faculty members. Other sections include history, organizations, career advice, and education. The site is “intended to help women biologists with practical aspects of busy professional lives, and to provide food for thought in those quieter moments,” Forsburg writes.

    pingu.salk.edu/∼forsburg/bio.html

  3. TOOLS: Zoom Around the World

    Want to see the fault lines around the Andes, fast? This site in Germany will make a map of any part of the world in various projection types (Mercator, polar stereographic, …) and stamp it with tectonic features. You can enter coordinates or zoom around to the spot you want. The site uses a simplified version of software used by many geologists; users are advised that it be viewed as an “appetizer for the real thing,” which can be reached through a link.

    www.aquarius.geomar.de/omc/omc_intro.html

  4. EDUCATION: Physics Review

    Need to review the latest Bose-Einstein condensation studies or brush up on the Kuiper asteroid belt? A great resource for physics students and researchers seeking background on such topics is The Net Advance of Physics. Hosted by MIT and run by an astrophysicist, the site is an alphabetical index of subjects—from accretion to magnetism to Z-bosons—linking to hundreds of online articles and tutorials. Many are expert-level review papers on the Los Alamos preprints archive, but there are also more general resources such as textbooks and laboratory Web pages.

    web.mit.edu/redingtn/www/netadv/welcome.html

  5. DATABASES: Tree Decoders

    Trembling aspen, Douglas fir, loblolly pine: Those are a few of the species being mapped by tree genome researchers, who hope to bioengineer trees with qualities such as fast growth and resistance to pests. Topping the bookmarks of forest biotechnologists is Dendrome, a U.S. Forest Service site whose name is a play on “dendrology” (the study of trees) and “genome.” The site's centerpiece is TreeGenes, a huge database of tree genetic maps and other data. There's also a protocols section, genome software, a directory of forest geneticists, a meetings listing (including abstracts), and related links. For instance, you can connect to an atlas showing how climate change may shift the ranges of 80 eastern U.S. tree species.

    dendrome.ucdavis.edu

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