Science  22 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5696, pp. 585

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  1. DATABASE: Beyond the Jungle Book

    Lions and tigers and bears live in the wild in India, along with some 90,000 other animal species, including this saucer-sized atlas moth (Attacus atlas). The new compendium IndFauna, hosted by the National Chemical Laboratory Centre for Biodiversity Informatics in Pune, offers taxonomic synopses for all of the described species of Indian animals. Besides the latest information on classification and conservation status, you'll find distribution data down to the state level. The atlas moth, for example, flaps around 11 states stretching from eastern to western India. You can also browse the center's similar collections on Indian plants and fungi.

  2. RESOURCES: The Universe From A to Z

    Wondering why space scientists are excited about Lake Vostok, which lies buried beneath 3700 meters of ice in Antarctica? Want to know how long a star lives? The answers await at the wide-ranging Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy, and Spaceflight from astronomer and writer David Darling of Brainerd, Minnesota. For example, the average lifetime of a G type star like our sun is 10 billion years, whereas a torrid giant blue star like Alnitak will perish after a mere 10 million years. And Lake Vostok might serve as a model for possible oceans on worlds such as Jupiter's moon Europa. The pages also offer brief biographies of luminaries in astronomy, rocketry, and related fields, such as the eccentric Swiss-American Fritz Zwicky (1898–1974), who inferred the presence of dark matter.

  3. RESOURCES: Sustain the Earth

    If you're looking for Web resources on how science might contribute to development that doesn't ruin the environment, check out the Forum on Science and Technology for Sustainability, sponsored by Harvard University. The site rounds up a host of papers, online books, and reports touching on everything from biobased fuels to wind energy in India. An events calendar tracks important conferences and workshops. In the commentary section, guest contributors sound off on topics from how to measure sustainability to biotechnology's role in promoting it. Many of the offerings revolve around seven key questions, including whether researchers can determine “safe” limits for human-caused environmental alterations such as climate change.

  4. IMAGES: Get an Eyeful

    Romantics aren't the only people who gaze into someone else's eyes. So do med students, ophthalmologists, and researchers who have set their sights on visual disorders. They can get a close look at how the eye works and what happens when it falters at the Eye Pathologist. Featuring more than 3500 images, the tutorial comes from pathologist Gordon Klintworth of Duke University Medical Center. Visitors can study the anatomy and function of structures such as the lens, cornea, retina, and optic nerve. The primer also describes development and how the eye changes over time. As we age, the lacrimal glands that exude tears shrivel and amass fatty deposits, and they sometimes stint on tear production. The more than 5000 eye diseases covered range from cataracts to Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue malfunction in which the lens often grows in the wrong position.

  5. TOOLS: Cancer's Gene Teams

    The free GeneXPress software available from this site can help researchers parse microarray data to identify groups of genes that work in concert during normal activities or in cancerous cells. Created by researchers at Stanford University, the program winkles out clusters of genes whose activity rises or falls in unison. The site also holds a database of results from the group's analysis of nearly 2000 microarrays for 22 tumor types from published studies. As they reported in this month's Nature Genetics, the researchers found 456 “modules,” or gene teams that labor together. A cadre of genes that checks division shuts down in cells from some leukemia patients, for example.∼erans/cancer