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NCBI Trace Archive
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of the National Library of Medicine offers the Trace Archive -- "a repository of the raw sequence traces generated by large sequencing projects." The Trace Archive is the sole source of raw sequence data for projects that rely on a Whole Genome Shotgun strategy. Users can search the archive by BLAST or by a number of other query options. The archive offers trace files, fasta files, quality scores, and ancillary data. The Web site also incl
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A Thin Blue Line: The History of the Pregnancy Test
In today's world, the test for pregnancy is only a pharmacy, and minutes, away. This wasn't always the case, however. Until 1978 no definitive means existed for at-home pregnancy testing. This site, from the National Institutes of Health, traces the history of the test back to its earliest roots at NIH. The site includes historical information on the early Egyptian practice of women urinating on wheat and barley to the more modern research into human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the so-called p
Author(s): Leavitt, Sarah A.

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SoloTrek XFV: Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle
Anyone who ever dreamed of flying with the birds should peruse the SoloTrek Web site. The vehicles shown online are either conceptual or in a prototype version, but they are intriguing nonetheless. Making its "proof-of-concept" test flight in December 2001, the Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle (XFV) is probably receiving the most attention. A technical primer describes the operation of the XFV and lists the specifications and components of the design. The vehicle's significance is outlined according t
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International HapMap Project
An international coalition -- with scientists from Canada, China, Japan, Nigeria, the U.K., and the U.S. -- the HapMap project seeks to "develop a haplotype map of the human genome, the HapMap, which will describe the common patterns of human DNA sequence variation." At the site, visitors can take advantage of the bulk downloads of data available here, including several datasets of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), genotype and frequency data, SNP assays, and more. Some of the data require
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Microbiology Current Issues: Water Quality
This well-designed Web site from the American Society for Microbiology offers a comprehensive introduction to microbial contamination of the water supply. Visitors to the site will find information on water-borne pathogens and the diseases they cause, where our drinking water comes from, how water becomes contaminated, scientific advances that could make our water supply safer, and much more. The information in this Web site is clearly explained and does not require an active interest in microbi
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UW-Arboretum: Earth Partnership Program: Prairie Fire Survey
This website presents an educational Prairie Fire Survey that was developed by the Earth Partnership Program (EPP) of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, home to the oldest restored prairie in the world. The goal of the survey is "to help students understand the role and change fire plays in the prairie." To this end, the site provides background information on forces that have shaped prairies over time and reasons why fire benefits prairies. The website describes two activities, including ne
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Botany Online: The Internet Hypertextbook
Originally in German, this online guide to the botanical sciences from the University of Hamburg is now partly available in English, with newly translated chapters and additional material continually added. The forty-five currently available chapters cover "all plant anatomy, classic genetics, organic chemistry and plant biochemistry, intercellular communication, interactions between plants, fungi, bacteria, and viruses, evolution, and a part of ecology." Once you find the Table of Contents (kee
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Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards
ExploraVision is a competition sponsored by Toshiba, Inc. and the National Science Teachers' Association (NSTA). The competition, which is open to all students in grades K-12 attending a school in the U.S., Canada, U.S. territory or a Department of Defense school, provides students a chance to "develop skills that will prepare them well for the 21st century workplace." Through ExploraVision, students work in teams to select a technology, research how it works and why it was invented, and then gi
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The Algodones Dunes, California
The Center for Biological Diversity blends "conservation biology with litigation, policy advocacy, and an innovative strategic vision" in efforts to protect endangered species and wild places, focusing on the western US. This Web site contains a slide show of images from the Algodones Dunes, California's largest dune system. The fourteen slides show images of the area's natural history and environmental threats, such as effects from off-road vehicles. Each slide is accompanied by a brief descrip
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Duke University Robotics
This website highlights robotics research from the Robotics and ManufacturingAutomation Laboratory at Duke University. Their work is "devoted to thedevelopment of command and control systems for cooperative robots." Theirwebsite provides descriptions and some demonstration videos of their work inmultiple industrial robot control, mobile robot development, sensor fusion,robot-World Wide Web interfacing, sensor integration, among other relatedprojects. A bibliography of publications by Lab researc
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Academy for Educational Development (AED)
The Academy for Educational Development (AED) (see also Scout report for June 30, 1995) released a report in the fall of 2004, which evaluated a teacher professional development program called Teacher Leaders for Mathematics Success, or TL=MS. The study "shows significant mathematics achievement gains among students in low-income schools in the Bronx, N.Y." after participation in the program. A summary of the findings and the full report are available from this website. The report provides an ov
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Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots
The nonprofit organization Conservation International (CI) aims to "conserve Earth's living natural heritage, our global diversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature." This Web site from CI's Center for Applied Biodiversity Science explains how biodiversity hotspots are designated and offers visitors a look at efforts to protect "these biologically rich areas around the world under significant threat of destruction." The highlight of this site is t
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Chocolate Exhibition
Chicagos Field Museum invites educators to use the enticing subject of chocolate to teach your class about the intriguing relationship between nature and culture. Click on Educators Resources to access 12 downloadable lesson plans, 6 of which focus specifically on the relationship between chocolate and the environment. Not only do these lesson plans offer students a fun way to learn about botany, ecology, and agriculture, they also demonstrate how an everyday item we all take for granted is more
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Statistical Education Through Problem Solving
Statistical Education Through Problem Solving (STEPS) was a collaborative project between seven universities throughout the United Kingdom "to develop problem-based teaching and learning materials for statistics." The materials draw on specific problems arising in Biology, Business, Geography and Psychology to help students learn that statistical issues are "important natural parts of the process of reaching conclusions." The software developed as a result of this project, which utilizes the com
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Switcheroo Zoo
As the name implies, the colorfully animated Switcheroo Zoo -- produced by Tubehead, an interactive multimedia studio -- allows you to swap the heads, legs, or tails of various zoo animals to create fantastical new creatures. Not just a place to watch cool morphing animation, this Web site has educational applications as well. Click on Educators' Resources, and scroll to the bottom of the page for a simple lesson plan geared toward younger students. The lesson plan is designed to "expand student
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"What Clones? Were Claims of the First Human Embryo Premature?"
This is a Scientific American article that argues that the results of the first human cloned embryo are misleading.
Author(s): Stix, Gary.

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TRW: Next Generation Broadband Satellite Communication Systems
An aerospace and automotive company produced this report, which was made available by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The paper "discusses the various technologies that are being developed and utilized for increasing the network capacity, improving service performance and reducing the cost of satellite systems." The main points are new antenna designs, communication payloads, capacity enhancements, and other technological changes for next generation satellites. Several sp
Author(s): Wiswell, Eric.,Satchandi, Verma.

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Predicting Invasions of Nonindigenous Plants and Plant Pests
This Web site contains the free book Predicting Invasions of Nonindigenous Plants and Plant Pests provided by the National Academies Press. Compiled by the US Board on Life Sciences and the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, this 194-page book explores the difficulties in predicting the immigration and impact of exotic species. Researchers active in this field may find this free resource of use.
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International Cryobiology Young Researchers Group
The International Cryobiology Young Researchers Group, an organization designed to foster communication among young cryobiology researchers and promote the science of cryobiology, has recently redesigned its Web site. Some parts of the site are restricted to members of the organization, but other parts are available to anyone. In addition to learning what cryobiology is, the most useful part of this site for educators is the section of Science Fair Ideas. Several ideas are presented for conducti
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NOAA Weather Education
NOAA offers links to a variety of educational materials on meteorology, hydrology, climatology, and other weather-related fields for children, teens, and young adults at this website. Students can find websites where they can learn about hurricanes, storms, tornadoes, and floods through interactive games. Teachers can find lightning safety presentations, satellite images, lightning photos, and glossaries. The website offers materials on weather related careers, degree programs, distance learning
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