NetWatch

Science  25 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5679, pp. 1883
  1. COMMUNITY SITE: When Bio Met Geo

    Biogeosciences.org, a new site from the Geological Society of America, aims to be a home base for researchers whose work straddles the earth and life sciences. Serving as a virtual notice board, the site includes grant announcements, job lists, and a meetings calendar. You can chime in on the discussion forum or read brief articles on big questions, such as how the mineral dolomite forms and why it's rare in recent rock. Aspiring biogeoscientists will find plenty of career and education info, including internships and interviews with researchers. Visitors can also troll a growing gallery of images posted by users.

    http://www.biogeosciences.org/

  2. RESOURCES: More Than a Smidge About Midges

    Chironomid midges aren't the voracious bloodsuckers that torment hikers in the Scottish Highlands. Instead, the peaceable little flies are often the ones that get bitten, providing meals for insects and fish and serving as key links in aquatic food webs. The Chironomid Home Page run by grad student Ethan Bright of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, connects to 19 midge identification catalogs and checklists, covering southern Africa to the Yukon. Chironomid remains in soil and sediments can help researchers chart climate change and shifts in human land use. The Dead Heads section offers a field guide to these preserved forms. You can also buzz through a directory of chironomid researchers, several bibliographies, or a yearly newsletter.

    insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/∼ethanbr/chiro

  3. RESOURCES: Documenting the Bushmeat Trade's Toll

    Many conservationists consider rampant commercial hunting for bushmeat one of the biggest threats to Africa's apes, forest antelope, and other species (Science, 11 April 2003, p. 232). This site from the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force pushes an agenda, but it also offers abundant background information for researchers interested in the problem. Bibliographies list more than 300 technical books and papers, nearly 150 reports, and 800-plus news articles, many available online. For example, you can read a recent report on measures some logging and mining companies have taken to reduce bushmeat trade on their land. You'll also find synopses of bushmeat research projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

    www.bushmeat.org/r_a.html

  4. EDUCATION: Chemists in Their Own Words

    Textbooks usually summarize the work of famous chemists such as Marie Curie and Antoine Lavoisier in a few lines or paragraphs. Students who want to read the scientists' writings or follow their arguments can browse this archive of classic chemistry papers, book excerpts, and other resources. The site, hosted by Lemoyne College in Syracuse, New York, holds or links to selections from more than 50 chemical thinkers, ranging from the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius to Nobel laureate Linus Pauling. The archive shows the researchers struggling toward the right answer—and occasionally stumbling. In one 1808 book excerpted on the site, for example, English chemist John Dalton lays out his hypothesis that a water molecule contains one oxygen and one hydrogen atom.

    webserver.lemoyne.edu/faculty/giunta/papers.html

  5. DATABASE: Bioactives Cookbook

    This new site from the Center for Chemical Methodology and Library Development makes it easier to cook up bioactives—molecules with biological effects that might help researchers craft drugs and probe cells' workings. The site from Boston University features interactive protocols for synthesizing 50 such molecules. You enter the quantity of each compound you want to make, and a calculator tells you how much of each reactant to add. Then just follow the step-by-step instructions for carrying out the synthesis, and voilà, you've got a batch of chiral maleimide, or C33H28BrNO7. The site will expand as the center's chemists develop new protocols.

    cmldprotocols.bu.edu:8080/abinitio/cmld/index.jsp

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