NetWatch

Science  04 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5749, pp. 753
  1. IMAGES: Just In From the Red Planet

    Like any old-timer, Mars carries its share of wrinkles, scars, and blemishes, such as marks left by collapsing lava tubes on the slopes of the volcano Ascraeus Mons. More eye-catching close-ups of the planet's physiognomy await at this gallery hosted by Arizona State University in Tempe. The site showcases 3 years of shots from an instrument mounted on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft that measures heat emanating from the surface. The “Live” from Mars section lets you see the images as they arrive. For more information about notable geological details, check out the weekly backgrounders. You can also browse a gallery organized by type of feature or track down any one of the 82,000 images using a clickable map of the planet.

    themis.asu.edu

  2. EDUCATION: Slides on Ice

    It's one thing to read that piedmont glaciers form when ice spreads out after squeezing through a narrow valley. But the concept is more likely to stick in your mind if you see the result, as in an aerial photo of sprawling glaciers on Axel Heiberg Island in northern Canada. Glaciers Online from Swiss teacher Jürg Alean and glaciologist Michael Hambrey of the University of Wales in the U.K. is a boon for visual learners. The pictorial introduction matches nuggets of glacier information with spectacular photos from all over the world. To distinguish cirque, outlet, and other glacier types, for example, the site spirits you from Antarctica to the Alps to the Grand Tetons. Visitors can also see how moving glaciers shape the landscape, bulldozing valleys such as Glencoe in Scotland.

    www.swisseduc.ch/glaciers

  3. RESOURCES: Supplementary Reading

    Researchers who investigate dietary supplements may want to check out this list of the 25 best papers in the field from last year. The choices, selected by experts convened by the National Institutes of Health, probed questions such as the effect of high doses of vitamin C on women with diabetes. (The vitamin increased the risk of dying from heart disease.) You can download a PDF with abstracts from the papers and similar reports from the previous 5 years.

    ods.od.nih.gov/Research/Annual_Bibliographies.aspx

  4. DATABASE: Fungal Pointer

    A rotting tree is a feast for corticioid, or crust, fungi. The taxonomy of these mushroom cousins can stump even experts: Over the years, researchers have minted more than 8000 names for the roughly 2000 species. Compiled by mycologists at Tartu University in Estonia and Göteborg University in Sweden, Cortbase can guide fungus fans through this baffling nomenclature, identifying which species names remain valid. The site also offers a specimen locator to pinpoint which of 147 herbaria hold representatives of particular corticioids.

    andromeda.botany.gu.se/cortbase.html

  5. EXHIBITS: Method Man

    While living through civil war and revolution, the British scientist Robert Boyle (1627-91) managed to forge the modern experimental method by investigating a broad array of topics, including human circulation and the nature of air. Learn more about Boyle's contributions and check out some of his writings at this site from the University of London.

    Although he began as a nonscientific writer, Boyle proved himself a whiz in the lab. In one set of experiments, he used a vacuum pump to remove the air from a vessel containing a candle. The flame went out, and he deduced that air contained something necessary to sustain fire. At the site, you can peruse selections from 11 volumes of Boyle's papers (including pages from his treatise on blood). A timeline puts Boyle's life and accomplishments in context with British history and intellectual developments. Boyle was one of the first scientists to publish experimental details. At a linked site, you can page through 44 years of his work diaries.

    www.bbk.ac.uk/boyle

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