Encyclopedia of Life — now 10 years old!

The Encyclopedia of Life is 10 years old!  It is freely available on the web.  From their statistics, as of May 11, 2017, they have 5.5 million pages.  Responsibilities are shared by interested groups and individuals.  “The founding partners of the project include the Field Museum of Natural HistoryHarvard University, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library.  The Missouri Botanical Garden later joined, and negotiations are ongoing with the Atlas of Living Australia.  Other partners are the American Museum of Natural History (New York), Natural History Museum (London), New York Botanical Garden, and the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew).”

 From https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Scientists_to_bring_all_species_together_in_Encyclopedia_of_Life

There is also a Wikipedia article about the EOL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclopedia_of_Life

Efforts began with plants, animals and fungi.  It appears now that microorganisms have been added, as they’d hoped.  If one searches for tuberculosis, there are many hits,  but many are not very productive.  Searching on the Genus is the key – Mycobacterium.   The site provides the NCBI ( National Center for Biotechnology Information) taxonomy for these organisms.  There are many  entries on Staphylococcus species.  Not all hits will be productive, and they urge inquirers to request information.

There are tabs for:  Overview, Detail, Data, Media (including some videos), Maps, Names, Communities (which include related EOL groups, e.g. “Birds of America”), Collections (on-line databases), Resources, Literature and Updates.  These headings also serve as filters or limits.

I tried cardinal, but Cardinalis cardinalis — the scientific name, Genus and species — works  best, if you are looking for our most common red bird.

There are data which indicate species to species interactions, from this site:  http://www.globalbioticinteractions.org/  There are many links to many collections.

I looked up cedar and from starting to browse through <6400 entries, I soon (within the first page of 25) came upon Cedrus libani, and found much information, including a video about the restoration of the “Cedars of Lebanon”.   The page steers one to many “traits” including the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) status, which is “vulnerable” for this tree:   Its populations are declining.   Searching can be a bit tricky.  Scientific name works best.

 

UK Medical Heritage Library

UK” The UK Medical Heritage Library now available online for free – 10 May 2017

A £1m project to digitise more than 15 million pages of 19th century medical texts has been completed and the material is now available online for free. It has taken three years to convert these historic published works for use in the 21st century by learners, teachers and researchers.

Covering much more than just medical sciences, this enormous library of text and images encompasses consumer health, sport and fitness, diet and nutrition, along with some weird and wonderful historical medical practices such as phrenology and hydrotherapy.

The project was jointly funded by education technology solutions not-for-profit, Jisc, and Wellcome Library, which contributed its entire 19th century collection, along with content from nine partner institutions: Royal College of Physicians of London, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Royal College of Surgeons of England, University College London, University of Leeds, University of Glasgow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, King’s College London and the University of Bristol. As a collective, this will make a valuable resource for the exploration of medical humanities.

The aim has been to create a comprehensive online resource for the history of medicine and related sciences, which significantly increases the availability of digitised text for teaching, learning and research.

The collection, called the UK Medical Heritage Library, is completely open and can now be accessed for free via Jisc’s Historical Texts resource or via the Wellcome Library’s website.

Brought to you by Scope e-Knowledge Center, a world-leading provider of Abstracting & Indexing (A&I) Services, Knowledge Modeling Services (Taxonomies, Thesauri and Ontologies), Metadata Enrichment & Entity Extraction Services.”

Click here

Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter

Best of the Web, GEN (Vol. 37, No. 8) SciPy PYTHON

“Computer programming is becoming (or rather, already has become) an essential skill for modern-day life scientists. A popular programming language in many fields is Python, in large part due to its open-source development. As a result, there exist many free resources available to both experienced and novice Python users. A large collection of such resources can be found on SciPy.org, home of a number of scientific and computational software packages/libraries for Python. In addition to offering free downloads of those packages, the SciPy website also includes SciPy Central (a collection of useful Python code snippets), a blog, documentation for the various software packages, and a place for users to report bugs. Site visitors in search of even more information can browse the SciPy Cookbook, a collection of user-contributed “recipes” that span topics such as graphics, linear algebra, simple plotting, and differential equations.”

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, April 15, 2017,  URL:scipy.org

Rated “Excellent”, free software downloads, good documentation

Project Euclid — Repository for math and statistics

The goal of Project Euclid—a project of the Cornell University Library—is to provide an online repository for mathematics and statistics publications, with the goal of offering content as open-access. The website hosts full journals and book series from dozens of publishers, with topics that range from statistics and probability, applied mathematics, logic, and computer science. Site visitors can search the collection by a number of parameters such as authors, keyword, or full text, and each article or journal on the website is conveniently marked with an indicator that tells whether the content is freely accessible without a subscription. (Approximately 70% of content on the site is currently open-access.) Additionally, the website provides support for researchers, librarians, and publishers. Project Euclid is a convenient collection of mathematical journals and articles all together in one place.

“Excellent” rating ****  No weak points

Source:  “Best of the Web”, GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Nov. 15,  2016, p.42.

New Weather Satellite: post on Dan’s Wild Wild Science Journal

New Era In Meteorology is Days Away

by Dan Satterfield

This Saturday evening, NASA will launch the GOES-R weather satellite, and a new 21st century era in weather and climate prediction will begin. This will be the equivalent of going from an old black and white TV, to an HD flat screen in color, and if all goes well it will revolutionize forecasting. I […]

Read more of this post

Dan Satterfield | November 15, 2016 at 3:18 am | URL: http://wp.me/s1t6W8-43555

 

Earth Primer (fun) and Map of Life (for citizen science)

Best Apps for Teaching & Learning 2016 | American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
Earth Primer by Chaim Gingold

Level: Elementary and Middle School
Platform: iOS money icon

Website external link icon

Earth Primer is a cross between an intro to earth science textbook and an interactive sandbox game. This creative application allows students to play with the powerful concepts that make up the physical aspects of our planet. Manipulate glaciers, volcanoes, biomes, weather systems, and more and experience how all of these structures combine to affect the makeup of our awesome planet.

Tip: Use Earth Primer to reinforce content in an earth science class.

app icon

Map of Life by Map of Life

Level: Middle School, High School
Platform: iOS | Android

Website external link icon

Map of Life is a field guide applicable to anywhere in the world. Search species by category and/or location, and contribute to the map by recording your sightings in your location. Several categories of species are represented, such as trees, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Choose a type of species and view images, read about characteristics and habitat, and view a map showing range. Helps with conservation efforts worldwide!

Tip: Great application for classes using GIS data. Use Map of Life on science field trips to report wildlife and to identify plants and animals.

 

Chemists to get their own preprint server

World’s largest scientific society plans to introduce ChemRxiv for a traditionally reluctant discipline.

  • Daniel Cressey

11 August 2016

Nature DOI: doi:10.1038/nature.2016.20409

http://www.nature.com./news/chemists-to-get-their-own-preprint-server-1.20409

From Bob Buntrock (Princeton Class of ??)   on the CHMINF Listserv.

Like arXiv and bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, hopes to facilitate the discovery and sharing of significant happenings in Chemistry.  ACS is welcoming input during this planning stage.

Viral Zone Best of the Web, Genetic Engng & Biotech News

BestWeb_ViralZoneSource: | Best of the Web | GEN ViralZone |

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News//

Jun 15, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 12)

“Do you know your DNA viruses from your RNA viruses, and can you spot a retrotranscribing virus when you see one? If not, the ViralZone from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is a fantastic web resource for virologists and other scientists who use viral tools in their research. ViralZone includes description pages for over 500 viruses, and site visitors can access these pages either by a targeted search for a specific virus or by browsing the virus pages by a virus’ Baltimore classification, host, or virion. The website also includes a great deal of general information about viral molecular biology, including topics such as virus entry/exit, replication, and genome evolution. On the homepage, site visitors will find a news section (including a weekly podcast) so that they can keep up to date on the latest viral happenings.”

 

 

Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet

Source:  The Scout Report — Volume 22, Number 16

scout@scout.wisc.edu

 
climate.nas= a.gov/climate_resource_center/interactives
“NASA’ s Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet website features a diverse set of resources related to the measurement, analysis, and dangers of global climate change. Here readers will find a collection of Interactive Features all designed to bring to life the sometimes abstract conclusions of scientific articles on climate and its effects on human and other life on Earth. For example, the Climate Time Machine allows readers to go backward and forward through four different key climate indicators, including Sea Ice, Sea Level, Carbon Dioxide, and Global Temperature. Perfect for educators who are looking for impactful visual representations of the rising temperatures on the planet, the interactive makes these measurements visceral in a way that charts and graphs are seldom able to do. Other interactives on the page include the Global Ice Viewer, Quizzes, The Sun: A Virtual Tour, The Water Cycle, and others. [CNH]”

Data USA — Visualization of free public data — MIT

Website makes government data easier to find

Steve Lohr writes: “For years, the federal government, states, and some cities have enthusiastically made vast troves of data open to the public. A project coming out of the MIT Media Lab seeks to harness that data and make it available to a wider audience. The project, called Data USA, bills itself as ‘the most comprehensive visualization of US public data.’ It is free, and its software code is open source, meaning that developers can build custom applications by adding other data.”…

New York Times, Apr. 4DATA USA