NetWatch

Science  22 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5636, pp. 1025
  1. COMMUNITY SITE: Particle Physics Central

    Spreading the word about developments in particle physics and kindred fields is the goal of the community site Interactions.org, launched last week. A joint production of more than a dozen particle physics labs and organizations—such as CERN in Switzerland and Fermilab in Illinois—the site caters to everyone from scientists to students.

    Visitors can peruse stories from the news media and press releases from the individual labs to get the latest on fresh discoveries, appointments, and the research-funding scene. Physicists can plan their travel with the calendar of upcoming conferences. To help teachers pep up dry lectures, the site offers a bounty of images, from snapshots of Nobel laureates to this gaudy head-on collision between lead ions. There's also a video library with tours of various accelerators, educational films on topics such as antimatter and quarks, and a handful of atomic animations.

    http://www.interactions.org/

  2. EDUCATION: Astronomy Cyberclassroom

    Astronomy teachers feeling a little lost in cyberspace can follow this guide to stellar Web sites compiled by Andrew Fraknoi of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. The annotated links include plenty of experiments, activities, and demonstrations suitable for college classes. The demos range from simple balloon models of the expanding universe to exercises that allow visitors to estimate the universe's age. Another handy list enumerates programs and applets that can help students grasp everything from the vast distances in space to the evolution of stars.

    www.astrosociety.org/education/resources/educsites.html

  3. DATABASE: Gut Bug Genomics

    Find out what makes food poisoning villains tick with this database from the University of Birmingham, U.K. Researchers can use coliBASE to analyze and compare the genomes of three strains of Salmonella, one of Shigella, and five of Escherichia coli, including the deadly O157:H7 variety. Linked databases let you parse the genes of different species and strains of Clostridium, which cause diseases such as botulism and tetanus, and the gut-wrenching Campylobacter.

    colibase.bham.ac.uk

  4. RESOURCES: Scaling Undersea Volcanoes

    Want to go deep-sea mountaineering but don't have a submarine? An emerging chain of Web sites devoted to the hot field of seamount science (see p. 1034) can help you hit the peaks.

    Seamounts Online offers a basic introduction to these drowned volcanoes, including photos of seamount life. But the core of the site, created by the San Diego Supercomputer Center and Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, is an international compendium of research findings, which you can search by everything from species and seamount location to topic and author's name. New additions are currently on hold due to scarce funds, but that could soon change, says the computing center's Karen Stocks.

    Explorers looking for detailed charts can try the Seamount Catalog, a digital archive of bathymetric maps that can be viewed and downloaded in several formats. So far, it includes just a few dozen Pacific peaks but will expand. Internet voyagers can also set sail with an array of seamount expeditions that have created Web logs. Try the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Ocean Explorer site and one created by the recent Australian-New Zealand NORFANZ seamounts cruise.

  5. DATABASE: All-American Data Trove

    The DataWeb provides access to a host of economic, health, and demographic databases from the U.S. government and private organizations. The new portal comes from two of the government's avid data collectors: the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The offerings cover topics as diverse as attitudes toward AIDS and family income. Scientific and medical researchers can glean statistics on U.S. births and mortality, rates of reportable diseases, and eating habits from sources such as CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. To burrow into the cache—13 data sets so far—you need to download a free program called the DataFerrett.

    http://www.thedataweb.org/

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