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GEOSCAN Database
Provided by Natural Resources Canada and part of the Earth Sciences Information Centre, GEOSCAN Database boasts a bibliographic database that contains "over 40,000 records covering all the publications of the Geological Survey of Canada." Users can search by basic keyword, title, author, subject, location, year, etc. Results can be displayed by various formats and can be selected for later review, and many include links to the publication's full text, which can be accessed free of charge. The ea
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Soil Temperatures
For over a hundred years the Illinois State Water Survey, part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, "has documented quality data on a wide multitude of water and atmospheric variables". Within the main Web site is the Soil Temperatures page, which provides daily publication of maps based on data from various sites across the state. These include a 10am 4 inch bare soil temperature, daily maximum and minimum 4 inch bare soil temperature, 10am 4 inch soil temperature under sod, daily m
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Calculators Online Center
Hosted by the UCI Science Library, the Calculators Online Center Web site is presented by Jim Martindale. The site is an incredible collection of links to over 16,000 online calculators on nearly every subject imaginable, including science specific ones. Everything from archeology and biology to geology and meteorology is covered, each with its own brief description and direct link. Although it is a bit difficult to find specific calculators from the many listed (perhaps a search tool would be h
Author(s): Martindale, Jim.

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NATURE: Kalahari
This website is the Web companion to the two-part NATURE documentary on the Kalahari Desert, which aired on PBS during fall 2003. The first episode, Kalahari: The Great Thirstland, explores the intense extremes of the Kalahari landscape, where wildlife "struggle for survival on the African plains." The site offers a number of Web-only extras, including a species guide in the form of animal trading cards, a slide show showing seasonal change in the Kalahari, and more. Episode Two, Kalahari: The F
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The Humane Society of the United States: Urban Wildlife -- Our Wild Neighbors
Do you know your wild neighbors? This website was developed by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to introduce Wild Neighbors , a program that "promotes nonlethal means for resolving conflicts between wildlife and humans..." and "cultivates an understanding and appreciation for those wildlife species commonly found in cities and towns." HSUS also uses this site to introduce the Urban Wildlife Sanctuary Program (UWSP). UWSP provides individuals and communities with support and informa
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Top500 Supercomputer Sites
Twice a year, the Top500 Project releases a list of the 500 sites with the most powerful supercomputers. The purpose of the list is "to provide a reliable basis for tracking and detecting trends in high-performance computing." The latest version was unveiled in June, and this site examines some of the most important developments and newcomers to the list. Most important is the recently constructed Earth Simulator in Japan, which was rated almost five times more powerful than second place. Additi
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NINDS GENSAT BAC Transgenic Project
This website from Rockefeller University in New York contains "a gene expression atlas of the central nervous system of the mouse based on bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs)." GENSAT, or the Gene Expression Nervous System Atlas, contains brain slice images of BAC transgenic mice at the embryonic, postnatal (7 days old), and adult stages, stained to show areas of gene activity. The website comes with a detailed and helpful tutorial that recreates GENSAT's user interface and demonstrates how
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The New York Botanical Garden: International Plant Science Center
In "combining modern technologies with a century of field and laboratory research," the New York Botanical Garden's International Plant Science Center "is one of the few institutions worldwide with the resources, collections, and expertise to develop the information needed to understand and manage plant diversity." This website grants considerable access to resources from the Center, including numerous plant databases, digitized rare botanical books, online access to the herbarium collections, a
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NIHSeniorHealth Health Information for Older Adults
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine recently launched NIHSeniorHealth.gov, a website developed from NIA research on older adults, cognitive aging, and computer usage. This easy-to-use website "makes aging-related health information easily accessible for adults 60 and older" and serves as "a useful tool for family members and friends who are seeking online health information for their older relatives." Topics covered include Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, e
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AskERIC: Cell-City Project
In this AskERIC lesson plan for grades 5-9, students compare the structure and function of cell organelles to that of a working city -- a handy analogy for learning the basics of cell biology. The activities outlined in the lesson plan, which takes three to four 55-minute sessions to complete, combine art and science for an interdisciplinary learning experience. Vocabulary words, useful links, and downloadable worksheets are included along with lesson procedures.
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GenePath: An Intelligent Assistant to the Discovery of Genetic Pathways
The Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia present an improved, second version of GenePath, a "web-enabled intelligent assistant for the analysis of genetic data and for discovery of genetic networks." GenePath automates the complex process of determining gene interrelationships and users may download existing projects or start new ones from scratch. The website also provides a very detailed, nicely-designed guide to running GenePath, available as a sep
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Two Updates on Stem Cell Research
In a recent press briefing, stem cell research pioneers James Thomson and John Gearhart announced that, despite political obstacles and limited funding, stem cell research is progressing and clinical trials on human beings should begin within the next five years. The Why Files chronicles the first five years of embryonic stem cell research, covering the science, the politics, and the ethical issues behind this contentious topic (and a closer look at the both the promise and doubt in adult stem c
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Patterns of Gene Expression in Drosophila Embryogenesis
A new image database of gene expression patterns in Drosophila embryogenesis is now available from the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project (BDGP), a consortium of the Drosophila Genome Center. The BDGP team used "high throughput 96-well plate RNA in situ protocol to determine patterns of gene expression during embryogenesis for Drosophila genes represented in non-redundant sets of Drosophila ESTs DGC1 and DGC2." The entire set of image, microarray, and annotation data may be browsed or searched f
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The TOPEX/ Poseidon Kids Page
In an effort to disseminate information from the TOPEX/ Poseidon satellite project, the Center for Space Research and the Texas Space Grant Consortium have developed the TOPEX/ Poseidon Kids Page. This online activity for younger students explains through simple descriptions and fun illustrations how the satellite measures the height of the ocean. Additional pages include an online quiz, a downloadable coloring book, an Ask a Scientist section, and other relevant facts and information.
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Chandra X-Ray Observatory Educational Materials
NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory Web site (last mentioned in the January 17, 2001 Scout Report for Science & Engineering ) offers an extensive Educational Materials links page. Formal educational materials are available such as lessons and activities, as well as general information pages, interactive and printable games, and more. One high school activity, for example, demonstrates Supernova Explosions using a soda can.
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IPGRI: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
This website is the homepage of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), "an international research institute with a mandate to advance the conservation and use of genetic diversity for the well-being of present and future generations." The site is packed with informative resources on agricultural biodiversity, including IPGRI breaking news, downloadable publications, links to online databases, and much more. The publications library is quite a find, with a number of download
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Amphibian Embryology Tutorial
Amphibian Embryology Tutorial, originally created to supplement Jeff Hardin's Introduction to Animal Development course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is "part of an ongoing project designed to implement multimedia and computer-based learning materials in the university undergraduate classroom." The tutorial is organized by major stages of development: Oogenesis and fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, and neurulation. The Web site also includes an explanation of why we use amphibians
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CBC News: Scientists Investigate Toxin, Mussel Threats in Lake Erie
This Web site contains an article from CBC News, covering the fish and bird die-offs in Lake Erie the summer of 2002 that researchers believe may be due to type E botulism, which is in turn linked to the invasive zebra mussel population. The site offers a video interview with Phil Ryan of Canada's Ministry of Natural Resources.
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Solid-State Lighting
Solid-state lighting is a revolutionary technology that uses semiconducting materials to create light while generating almost no heat. This is extremely energy efficient, but until recently has been impractical due to the small amount of light emitted. New developments in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have reversed this trend, and strong interest has been shown by the US government and many research bodies.A good introduction to the technology can be found at the Lighting Research Center (1). It
Author(s): Leske, Cavin.

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America's Backyard: Exploring Your Public Lands
America's Backyard: Exploring Your Public Lands is the featured topic of National Geographic's Geography Action! -- an "annual conservation and awareness program designed to educate and excite people about our natural, cultural, and historic treasures." This Web site offers a number of public land-related educational activities, many of the which apply directly to the life sciences. Activities are available for grades K-12, and cover such topics as the role of forests in our daily lives, conserv
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