NetWatch

Science  14 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5648, pp. 1125
  1. RESOURCES: California Quaking

    Every day, several of California's more than 1000 shifting faults shake some part of the state. This clearinghouse of earthquake data keeps tabs on the ones that rattle northern California. Sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley, and the U.S. Geological Survey, the site catalogs magnitude, depth, location, and other measurements for earthquakes dating back to 1967. Check out near-real-time recordings from a network of seismographs scattered around northern and central California. Links take you to lists of recent seismic activity and “shake maps” that depict earthquake strength. In the diagram above, red indicates the most intense ground movement during the 1992 Petrolia quake, a magnitude 7.1 temblor centered near Eureka.

    quake.geo.berkeley.edu

  2. DATABASE: The Brain's Genetic Geography

    Researchers studying how genes mold the mouse's developing brain and keep the organ running throughout life should check out this new gene expression atlas from Rockefeller University in New York City. The site presents synopses for more than 150 genes, indicating where each is switched on in embryos, 7-day-old pups, and adults. As reported in the 30 October issue of Nature, the researchers studied brain cells that carried a chunk of bacterial DNA that spurs production of a marker protein when a particular gene turns on. The atlas features images of brain slices stained to reveal the locations of gene activity. You can zoom in on the photos for a closer look at which neurons are putting a particular gene to work. The dark specks on this section of an adult mouse's cerebellum, for example, mark cells with active laminin, beta-3, whose functions include helping cells stick together.

    http://www.gensat.org/

  3. E-PUBLISHING: International Journal Club

    Libraries in the industrialized world carry few scientific journals from developing countries. Yet researchers in those nations are often immersed in the world's urgent problems, from conserving biodiversity to battling AIDS. This online library hosted by nonprofit publisher Bioline International, headquartered in Toronto, links to more than 20 free, full-text journals from the developing world. You can browse the latest issue of Indian Journal of Cancer, African Population Studies, or the Chilean Biofilm Journal. More titles are on the way.

    http://www.bioline.org.br/

  4. EDUCATION: Silicon Psychology

    PsychExperiments is an alternative for teachers who want to introduce their students to psychology research but lack the money or facilities to run their own experiments. The 3-year-old site from the University of Mississippi, Oxford, lets classes participate in 30 online experiments in cognitive and social psychology, then download the data.

    Students can be tricked by optical illusions, see how well they remember faces, or explore whether left-handers are better at remembering pitches, among other tests. Using Excel software supplied by the site, students can analyze their class's results or those from other site visitors. If teachers register, the site will store results from their classes. PsychExperiments requires the free Shockwave Authorware plug-in, which can be balky with some browsers.

    psychexps.olemiss.edu

  5. DATABASE: Catalog of Close Shaves

    A crowd of asteroids and other debris mills around our solar system, and occasionally a good-sized object whomps Earth. The researchers who run the Near Earth Objects Dynamic Site (NEODyS) are keeping their eyes on more than 2500 of these space rocks, such as Eros (below), that wander within 45 million kilometers of our planet. In this cybercatalog, sponsored by the University of Pisa in Italy, each asteroid merits its own statistics-rich page. It lists the object's brightness, recent and projected close approaches to Earth and the other planets, and additional data. The Risk Page gauges the chances that any of the asteroids will ram us. For news on the latest near misses, background on asteroids, and other info, follow the link to Tumbling Stone, an online magazine co-sponsored by NEODyS.

    newton.dm.unipi.it/neodys

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