Scott's Botanical Links--September 2001


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September 28, 2001 - BBC Litmus Test: A Science Quiz Challenge
The BBC has offered a robot cat to the person who can answer this science test the best. The first round is a lightening round of multiple choice questions. If you qualify, you will move to a greater depth with problem solving. I am not aware what the "cut-off" is for the first round yet. This is quite a challenge. Please let me know if you pass the first challenge, and tell me how far you get. A colleague has suggested making it mandatory for graduate school. See if you pass the test! Site by BBC. -S
September 27, 2001 - Plant Encyclopedia
The Plant Encyclopedia is an online resource provided at by Sierra Home Software. Plants may be searched by a variety of characteristics, including hardiness zone, zipcode, plant form, soil type, sunlight, blooming season, attributes, resistance, height, growth rate, use, and of course by name (common, genus, species, group, varietal names all work). Each plant has a detailed description, tips on growing the plant, characteristics and a small illustration. Useful for finding plants by name or characteristics. (****) -S
September 26, 2001 - Highlights of Biochemistry: Molecular structures made visible
This collection of images includes many of the most important biological molecules, including nucleic acids, protein-DNA interactions (repressors, polymerases, binding proteins, enhancers), metabolism, proteases, antibiotics & modifying enzymes, photosynthesis, neurology, immunology, sugars, pores (channels & transport), other molecules (Luciferase, lysozyme etc.) This uses the Chime plug-in (available free) to image the molecules. Site supported by the Faculty of Biology, University of Hamburg. (****) -S
September 25, 2001 - Scirus - Search Engine for Scientific Information Only
Scirus distinguishes itself from other web search engines by targeting strictly scientific web and data sites. It returned an impressive number of links (strictly scientific, as promised) for the words that I have entered. Further screens including topic and source checks. The advanced search page allows further screening by document type (including articles, abstracts, patents, conferences, scientist's home pages), and Boolean search options. Elsevier Science developed and sponsors this site as a science portal. The site is well worth a bookmark, though it is stronger in MedLine-indexed materials than Agricola-type (i.e., plant!) sites. (****) -S
September 24, 2001 - Photosynthesis Light Reactions Timeline
The early events of light reception, electron transport, NADPH reduction and ATP creation from four incident light flashes are depited during a period of 10 milliseconds. The site is appropriate for a cell biology class. A detailed set of cartoon images is presented with three clocks: (1) 10 ms, as if it were a year, (2) a relative clock and (3) a digital clock that measures to femptoseconds. The series of images (56 in all) takes much longer than 10 ms to understand! This is also available as a Quicktime movie. The site is an impressive summary of one of the most fundamental processes of life, by Prof. Govindjee; web site by Matej Lexa. (****) -SR
September 21, 2001 - Forestry Images
Forestry Images contains nearly 4500 images of forest plants, insects, silvicultural practices, invasive organisms, and scenes of nature. The depth of the site is amazing, though the images are not uniformly high quality. Image sizes range from large thumbnails up to 3072 x 2048 pixel images (>6 MB). Lower resolution images, up to 768 x 512 pixel images require no registration, but the larger images require free registration. All images may be used for nonprofit educational purposes with appropriate citation. This site is a joint venture with the US Forest Service and the University of Georgia. (***1/2) -SR
September 20, 2001 - Delaware Wildflowers
Delaware wildflowers includes floral images of >58 families, >155 genera, and >300 species to date (including some rare plants), listed by color, common name, species, families, and higher levels. The image format is medium resolution JPGs (the new ones, 600 x 450 pixels) which are listed on pages along with date and the location where the photo was taken. Links are provided to wildflower sites representing most of the 50 states. This site photographed and maintained by David G. Smith. (****) -SR
September 19, 2001 - Guardian Unlimited | Special report: Ethics of Genetics
Guardian Unlimited, self-described as the UK's most popular newspaper website, has produced an issues-oriented page on the ethics of genetics. This page has up-to-the-minute links on matters arising from human cloning, genetic engineering, STEM cell research and molecular biology. Although the specific links from this page may change over time, the topic promises to be a lasting one. The hyperlinks provided appear exhaustive for locating Guardian resources. (***1/2) -SR
September 18, 2001 - Fear of Physics
This site was constructed by physics instructors, using animations, demonstrations and explanations to explain introductory physics ideas useful to know before taking college physics. Topics range from speed & acceleration to the solar system, atoms, relativity, levers, and a myriad of practical physics concepts. There is a quiz at the end for students, and a custom quiz maker for instructors (it will even e-mail student responses). This is a clever site by instructors who apparently want to remain anonymous. (****) -SR
September 17, 2001 - HerbMed
Most of the chemicals that we currently use as drugs were isolated from plants. With herbal remedies occupying increasing space on retailer's shelves, this site is refreshing in presenting plants, evidence for activity (from human clinical data, case reports, traditional & folk use), contraindications for use (toxic & adverse effects, interactions), preparations, mixtures, mechanisms of action and references, and Medline links to the relevant scientific articles. My inclusion of this site is for botanical not medical purposes; self-medication can be dangerous! Site by the Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc. (****) -SR
September 14, 2001 - USDA/ARS Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory
The mission of the USDA Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory is to identify toxic plants, isolate & identify toxins, mechanisms of toxicity, metabolism & clearance from tissues, diagnosis, conditions of poisoning, management strategies, antidotes, treatments and other recommendations to promote animal and human health. Bulletin 415-Poisonous Plants of the Western United States contains information on major toxins, including cyanide or prussic acid plants, neurotoxic and myotoxic plants, gastrointestinal irritants, abortifacient and reproductive toxins, photosensitizing plants, nitrate accumulating plants, oxylate-containing plants, hepatotoxic & pyrrolizidine alkaloid plants, cardiac glycoside plants, and miscellaneous other toxins. Site by PPRL (***) -SR
September 13, 2001 - Poisonous Plant Database
The Poisonous Plant Database represents a vast survey of the literature. The heart of the site is a lengthy 32-page list of references, and a single long page (190 KB) of reportedly poisonous plant species. A plant's absence from the list does NOT mean it is safe though. Compiled by D. Jesse Wagstaff (1994-1996), the data are infrequently updated. Hosted by U.S. Food & Drug Administration, visitors are cautioned that the pages are unofficial. This exhaustive site is not a bad place to delve into specific reports on specific plants, though without a search engine, it may be easier to work with this data offline. (***) -SR
September 12, 2001 - SciTechResources.Gov bills itself as the government site that provides the scientist, engineer, and technologist with easy, one-stop access to key U.S. Government resources. Thousands of web sites have been reviewed to select the sites that provide the most valuable links to government expertise, services, laboratories, information centers, and other important resources. Although the botany offerings are currently slim, there are excellent links on a variety of topics. This site is still in construction, by US Dept of Commerce, Washington, DC. (***) -SR
September 11, 2001 - Climate Change Atlas for 80 Forest Tree Species of the Eastern United States
This is a tree species distribution atlas with information that includes distribution maps & tables for different climate change scenarios, life-history & disturbance attributes, ecological attributes, forest type maps and a sorted list of species importance values by state/county for different climate change scenarios for 80 species in the eastern half of the United States (east of the 100th meridian). This is a highly technical site providing a variety of scenarios. This requires detailed study to make the most of it, but shows the efforts being made to understand climate change. By Anantha M. Prasad and Louis R. Iverson, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. (****) -SR
September 10, 2001 - Festuca of North America
Information on this site includes data from "Fescue Grasses of Canada" (Aiken and Darbyshire 1990), "The vascular plants of British Columbia" G.W. Douglas (1991), and from Festuca in the Jepson Manual "Higher Plants of California" (Hickman, J.C. 1993). The database describes Festuca taxa of North America, north of Mexico, including common names, valid publication of the name, location of type specimens, synonymy, morphology, anatomy, chromosome number(s), habitat & distribution, subgeneric classification, and taxonomic notes. Authors include S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, C.L. McJannet, and L.L. Consaul. (***1/2) -SR
September 7, 2001 - Vegetable Technology
Featured vegatable crops include: angled gourd (Luffa acutangula), bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), brinjal (Solanum melongena), chilly (Capsicum annuum), Chinese mustard (Brassica sp.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), long bean (Vigna sinensis), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), spinach (Amaranthus) sp., tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum), water convolvulus (Ipomea reptans), and assorted vegetables. For each there is a myriad of information including: general information, botanical descriptions, recommended cultivars, crop requirements, cultural practices, pest management, harvest & handling, economics. Site by Agrolink Task Force, Malaysia. (***) -SR
September 6, 2001 - The Exotic Fruits Of Malaysia
The featured exotic fruits of Malaysia include: starfruit, durian, papaya, guava, rambutan, banana, mango, ciku, jackfruit, pineapple, watermelon, mangosteen, pomelo, lansium and loose peel citrus. For each fruit, detailed information is presented on growing the plant, its requirements, yield, uses, pests and useful tips. More information is available on plant quarantines, the Slim River Starfruit Project, the packing and coolroom complex Chui Chak, Perak, Malaysia, area of fruits orchard in West Malaysia (1985 - 1994 ) and fruits technology. Remarkably complete and illustrated. Research by Mrs. Pathmavathy d/o Chellathurai, prepared by Agrolink Task Force, Malaysia. (***1/2) -SR
September 5, 2001 - Insect Pollination Of Cultivated Crop Plants
Crop productivity and insect pollination are often strongly correlated. This manual presents a detailed account of insect pollination and crops. Topics in the introduction include economics of pollination, flowering & fruiting, hybrid vigor, wild bees & wild bee culture, wild flowers, pesticides, pollination agreements & services. This is followed by a list hyperlinked to highly detailed accounts of crops dependent upon or benefited by insect pollination. This is one to bookmark on this topic. Handbook was originally published in 1976 by S.E. McGregor, USDA and is updated "continuously". (****) -SR
September 4, 2001 - Microbial Genomics
Microbial Genomics is a gateway to government and other institutional resources dedicated to studying the genome of microbes (including viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and microalgae). Much of the site is dedicated to a primer of DNA, approaches, accomplishments and the importance of the project, fun facts and government links. Databases themselves can also be accessed from links from this site. With a wide navigation border on the left and a wide right margin, reading requires a lot of scrolling. Site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research. (***)
September 3, 2001 - Calculators On-Line Center
Okay, this is not strictly botanical, but it is amazing. This site links to over "13,745 calculators created by over 2,570" sites from all sources, commercial, public, non-profit and individuals. It could be useful for plants though, because under the heading "Agriculture & Horticulture" there are calculators on ... Ag/Farm Costs (Business & Analysis Energy | Machinery), Soil (pH | Soil | Texture Soil Science | Pesticides | Hydrocarbons), Water (Unit Conversion | pH | Characteristics | Budget | Erosion | Water Use | Ground Water | Irrigation | Pollution | Water Quality | Runoff | Water Treatment), Aquaculture, Beekeeping & Honey Production, Crops & Horticulture (Acreage | Costs | Production | Seed | Plant Population | Pollination | Yield | Growth | Hydroponics | Metabolic Engineering | Nutrients | Turfgrass), Livestock (Feed | Cattle | Dairy | Deer | Goat | Horse | Pig | Poultry | Sheep), Fertilizer & Spreaders, Pesticides/Herbicides & Sprayers .... well, you get the idea. There is a whole page of chemistry-related calculators. This is definitely worth a bookmark! Site by Jim Martindale, hosted at University of California, Irvine. (****) -SR

Past, past links (by date):

2006: January
2005: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2003: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2002: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2001: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2000: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1999: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1998: January*, February*, March*, April*, May*, June*, July, August, September, October, November, December   (*Leigh's links)
1997: January, February, March, April, May, June, September*, October*, November*, December*    (*Leigh's links)
1996: February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
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