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.


Scientists unveil a new Tree of Life


Bacteria dominate newly drawn tree of life
Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Waterloo in Canada studied more than 3,000 species and pieced together bits of DNA to update the tree of life. The tree is dominated by bacteria, while all the eukaryotes are represented on a slender twig. The work is published in the journal Nature Microbiology.” The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/11)

APRIL 11, 2016

“A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2016, on page D2 of the New York edition with the headline: The Tiniest Beings Writ Large.A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2016, on page D2 of the New York edition with the headline: The Tiniest Beings Writ Large.”

From FBR SmartBrief <fbr@smartbrief.com> Wed., April 13, 2016

Microbe World

  • Lots of information over a variety of topics
    • Poor site organization—two separate navigational toolbars
    • Source: GEN “Best of the Web”, Sep 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 16)
    • Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News
    • From American Society for Microbiology

Microbiology Online — from the Society for General Microbiology

Microbiology Online

Source:  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News [update@genengnewsmail.com]

Mar 15, 2013 (Vol. 6, No. 33)

  • 4 stars = excellent
  • Nice site design and organization
  • No weak points

“Now here is one big website for things so small! The educational website for the Society for General Microbiology, Microbiology Online is packed full of information about microorganisms. Combining animations and actual images of the microbes, the website offers students the opportunity to explore pages such as introducing microbes, microbes and the human body, microbes and food, and microbes and climate change. For teachers, the site provides information on such topics as microbes and basic principles, preparation of media and cultures, activities, and safety information. There are a number of free downloadable resources available to teachers, as well. Beyond the teacher and student pages, Microbiology Online also includes links to the latest news and podcasts/videos. The site is well organized and contains a lot of material to excite both students and teachers of the subject.”

*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.