Friday, December 22, 2006

A Bit of Chemistry for Christmas

Thanks to a posting in Stephanie Bianchi's Sci-Tech Library Newsletter (National Science Foundation).

Kids may enjoy using chemistry to solve the “Christmas Cookie Mystery

If you weary of the traditional, try caroling with song lyrics by chemists and physicists:

Michael Faraday started a series of Christmas lectures on chemistry in 1827. These lectures show that the relationship chemists have with Christmas is timeless. The Royal Institution still hosts Christmas lectures today.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fossil Helps to Redraw the Mammalian Family Tree

From the current issue of Nature:

"Distant relatives of today's flying squirrels probably existed at least 135 million years ago; much earlier than anyone had suspected. That is the conclusion of a team of researchers led by Jin Meng, who have found the fossilized remains of a new species of mammal" (see Nature 14 December, p. 889).

Read the story behind the discovery of this ancient glider in inner Mongolia.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Undermining Science... in the Bush Administration

Seth Shulman's book on the "suppression and distortion" of science in the (G. W. ) Bush administration is now on the new book shelf. The first quotation in the book comes from an editorial in Scientific American:

"It is increasingly impossible to ignore that this White House disdains research that inconveniences it."

(Bush-League Lysenkoism. Scientific American, May 2004, Vol. 290 Issue 5, p10; full-text available through EBSCOhost).

More documentation of the misrepresentation of scientific data and research findings is available from the Union of Concerned Scientists and Bush Greenwatch.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Optogenetics: Optics & Genetics Combine to Stimulate and Visualize the Nervous System

From Science news this week:
Shining New Light on Neural Circuits
by Greg Mille

"When researchers from Yale University reported last year that they'd used a laser to activate neurons in fruit flies and in turn control the insects' behavior, even Jay Leno thought it was cool. In a skit, the Tonight Show host pretended to use a remote-controlled fly to harass President George W. Bush during a speech. "I thought it was actually quite funny," says Gero Miesenböck, the neuroscientist who led the study. A video clip of Leno's skit elicited chuckles when Miesenböck played it during a presentation at October's meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Atlanta, Georgia." [more from Science]

IMAGE: An optical fiber delivers light to stimulate photosensitive neurons deep in a mouse's brain. (from Science 15 December 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5806, pp. 1674 - 1676)


To read abstracts from the Mini Symposium on Optogenetics at the Society for Neurocience, October 2006, go to the Society's annual meeting website, select the neuroscience meeting planner, then search for Miesenbock as author in the advanced search.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Goodbye Baiji (Lipotes vexillifer, Yangtze River Dolphin)

The Chinese River Dolphin, or Baiji (Lipotes vexillifer), found only in the Yangtze River, was declared "functionally extinct" after a 6-week expedition failed to find even one dolphin still living in the river. The Three Gorges Dam project, pollution and over hunting were cited as causes for extinction, giving the Baiji the unwelcome designation as the first large aquatic mammal driven to extinction by human activity since the 1950s.

Learn more about the Baiji's biology and conservation attempts in Conservation Biology, vol. 20, no. 3 June 2006, on the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center.
image from the BBC.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Evolution, Creationism and Intelligent Design: news from Nature, Science, and a book by Michael Shermer

Why Darwin Matters: the Case Against Intelligent Design, by Michael Shermer, just arrived in the science library, nicely provides in depth context for recent items in Nature and Science:

Anti-evolutionists raise their profile in Europe Nature vol. 444: 406-407 (23 November 2006)

Public Acceptance of Evolution Science vol. 313: 765-766 (11 August 2006). Erratum, Sep 22: 1739.

An Obstacle to the Acceptance of Evolution Science Science 12 Oct 2006 [eletters]

image from the publisher's Web site, Henry Holt and Co., Times Books.

Monday, December 11, 2006

On the New Book Shelf: Voices from Chernobyl

Among the new books received today is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Voices from Chernobyl: an Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by . Read excerpts from the book at - part of a twenty-year retrospective on the explosion of a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in northern Ukraine.
  • more book info from
  • more stories on Chernobyl, then and now, from NPR.

Friday, December 08, 2006

U.S. Study Finds Slower Breakdown of Plutonium in Stockpiled Weapons

From Science news of the week
by Eli Kintisch
A new U.S. government analysis has found that the plutonium at the heart of the country's nearly 10,000 stockpiled nuclear weapons could last twice as long as previously thought. That conclusion is likely to escalate the debate over the Bush Administration's campaign to build a new generation of weapons. (Read more.)

Full story at

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Day Oberlin College Went Climate Neutral

Join the activities in the Adam Joseph Lewis Environmental Center today and celebrate the college's commitment to develop a plan for becoming climate neutral. See the Oberlin events calendar for details, including:

  • noon - Lecture by Karen Florini, OC '79
  • 2 pm - National Wildlife Federation Teleconference
  • 4:30 pm - Lecture by Kris Petersen and Greg Berger
  • 7:30 pm - Reception and art installation
The art installation will reveal what became of all those incandescent light bulbs replaced with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs campus-wide (including bulbs at the science library reading tables).

[More info on Oberlin's climate neutrality pledge from the Oberlin Review.]

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Take the Holiday Song Challenge!

Environmental Defense invites you to join the Holiday Song Challenge, and create a video of you and your friends singing a holiday song with a global warming theme. View their staff video for inspiration, or other entries on the YouTube Holiday Song Challenge group, then submit your own production to YouTube.

While you're at the Environmental Defense site, take time to read their Five Big Ideas for the Environment for 2007.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Supreme Court Considers Auto Carbon Emissions and the Clean Air Act

Listen to ScienceFriday for Dec. 1, as host Ira Flatow reviews with guests the arguments presented last week to the Supreme Court, in its first case ever to deal with global warming.

From "How might the court's ruling might affect what we drive in the future? We'll also take a look at the upcoming session of Congress. With Democrats poised to take over leadership of both houses of Congress next month, how will the new Congress tackle the issue of climate change?" Listen to the broadcast.

More on this case is posted on the Natural Resources Defense Council web site, with frequently updated links to numerous news sources.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Books for Holiday Giving

Bruce Barcott, a contributing editor for Outside magazine, offered this list of favorite books for 2006 during a recent interview on Living on Earth (LOE). You'll find all of them in the college library, either in science or main, so you can review them yourself before buying a copy for a friend!
Every LOE show can be downloaded for your MP3 player, read, or listened to online. LOE's careful analysis of environmental issues worldwide, with policy makers, scientists and science writers, make this one of the most enlightening programs on public radio. The "Emerging Science" segment is especially noteworthy each week. So lend an ear! [More at LOE].

Friday, November 24, 2006

Searching for the Origin of Altruism

Among the new books received this week is The altruism equation : seven scientists search for the origins of goodness / Lee Alan Dugatkin. Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2006.

It was reviewed by Jason Rosenhouse in his EvolutionBlog on Sept. 19. Publishers Weekly, as reported on the Princeton University Press site, had this to offer:
"Biologist Lee Dugatkin splendidly narrates a fast-paced tale of scientific breakthrough, genius and intellectual history as he examines the lives of seven scientists . . . whose groundbreaking work attempts to answer this question. . . . This superb tale of scientific discovery is required reading for everyone interested in the nature of human morality."

Lake Victoria's Ecological Decline Linked to Climate Change

From Science News of the Week, November 24:
U.N. Conference Puts Spotlight on Reducing Impact of Climate Change.
by Richard Stone and John Bohannon

NAIROBI--For the past 6 years, Louis Verchot has had a ringside seat for Lake Victoria's ecological decline. Intense rainstorms pounding down on degraded land have swept in millions of tons of phosphorus-laden sediments from the Nyando River, transforming the lake from a nutrient-limited ecosystem into one with a gross excess of nutrients. On a visit last spring, says Verchot, a soil specialist at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, the water was so choked with an algal bloom that a glass of it "looked like spinach soup." [more]

Monday, November 20, 2006

Neanderthal Genomics Featured in Nature and Science

Last week, both Nature and Science featured major articles on the genomics of Neanderthals. As the cover story of Nature for 16 November, the journal web site offers free access to supplementary material including a video and special Neanderthal DNA Web focus. Check it out!

As summarized in Science on 17 November, Noonan, et al. found that "humans and Neanderthals shared a common ancestor up to ~706,000 years ago and that the populations split ~370,000 years ago."

[image: Nature web focus]

The Second Tree; reviewed by Biology Professor Yolanda Cruz

The Second tree : stem cells, clones, chimeras and quests for immortality, by Elaine Dewar, is the focus of an extensive book review by Professor of Biology Yolanda Cruz. Ms. Cruz presents information from 28 sources in her review, considering nuclear transplantation, transgenesis, the integrity of chromosome ends and ethics of human embryo research. Read Professor Cruz's review in Evolution and Development.
In addition to the copy of the book in our library, over 17 copies are available from other OhioLINK libraries [OhioLINK Central Catalog].

Sunday, November 19, 2006

EPA’s New Air Quality Standards Endanger Public Health

From Greenwatch Today, Nov. 17:

"Here’s something that will take your breath away. The EPA, charged with protecting our environment, has adopted new air quality standards that actually put our environment and health at greater risk.

"In proposing these standards, EPA has ignored the recommendations of its own Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, the advice of the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee, the recommendations of 100 leading research scientists and physicians, and comments from two dozen national and local health organizations." [More]

Friday, November 10, 2006

NSF targets Arecibo radio telescope for $4 million budget cut

From Science News of the Week

"Two major U.S. radio astronomy facilities funded by the National Science Foundation may need to close by 2011 to make room for new NSF astronomy projects. Last week, an expert panel put the two facilities--including the massive Arecibo radio telescope that fills a sinkhole in Puerto Rico--on a hit list ordered by NSF to save $30 million a year in its $191 million astronomy budget." --Adrian Cho

Radioastronomy Research by Oberlin Faculty, Students and Alumni

Arecibo is located in Puerto Rico and has been the site of research conducted by Physics and Astronomy Professor Dan Stinebring and his students. [More from Oberlin Online and Alumni Magazine]

One former student, Naomi McClure-Griffiths ('97) has just been awarded the 2006 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year. [More at Oberlin Online today]

Naomi's honors research on pulsars was conducted in Australia rather than Puerto Rico, and led to a paper in Astrophysical Journal co-authored with Prof. Stinebring. An author search on McClure-Griffiths in INSPEC results in 33 papers co-authored by Naomi; Science Citation Index reveals that 16 of these papers have been cited a total of 130 times.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

S.O.S. from Greenpeace

Message in a Bottle: an appeal from the ship Esperanza, as it moves through the trash vortex of the Pacific Ocean. This is part of the message sent to Greenpeace supporters on November 7, while many of us were focused on the U.S. elections:

"Throughout this trip, we’ve been taking samples of ocean water, and what we’ve discovered is as if a bomb exploded millions of pieces of plastic that rained down on the Pacific. But this is no bomb. It's not a storm that caused this. We did. All of us. With every piece of trash we've seen, but haven't picked up, every water bottle we've bought, but didn't recycle. It's all here, floating in front of me, the evidence of millions of moments of lapsed judgement, all combined into one heaping mess. It's overwhelming." -- Marie Jorgensen

Read more at Greenpeace, and watch the ship tour video. Also learn about the semester program for student activists.

The fate of plastic in the oceans has long been an issue of concern. See, for example, this 1989 report from the Alaska Sea Grant College Program:
Persistent marine debris : challenge and response

and dozens of articles published in Marine Pollution Bulletin since its inception in 1970. Published by Elsevier, you may search journal contents and view abstracts for free on Elsevier's ScienceDirect. Obtain full-text of articles published since 1995 on the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Results for the Environmental Voter

Interested in reading the election results from the perspective of the League of Conservation Voters? Find out more about the "dirty dozen dumped" in yesterday's election, and review the endorsements of the LCV.
Read also the Sierra Club perspective on the 2006 election. [image of the outdoor voter is from the Sierra Club web site]

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Queen of Fats

Now on the new book shelf:

The Queen of Fats
Why Omega-3s Were Removed from the Western Diet and What We Can Do to Replace Them / Susan Allport. California Studies in Food and Culture, no. 15

From the publisher's Web site:
"A nutritional whodunit that takes readers from Greenland to Africa to Israel, The Queen of Fats gives a fascinating account of how we have become deficient in a nutrient that is essential for good health: the fatty acids known as omega-3s. Writing with intelligence and passion, Susan Allport tells the story of these vital fats, which are abundant in greens and fish, among other foods." [read more]

Other new books received today include several that were donated to the library from the late Robert Weinstock's (Professor Emeritus of Physics) comprehensivie collection on Newton, relativity, and the history of physics and mathematics. New Books Received Nov. 6.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Systematic Interference with Science at Interior Department Exposed

From the Union of Concerned Scientists:
Scientific Findings on Endangered Species Reversed

"Recently obtained documents show that high-ranking political appointees within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have rewritten scientific documents to prevent the protection of several endangered species. This blatant disregard for the Endangered Species Act, which requires decisions based on the best available science, threatens grouse and prairie dog species, among others." [Read more]

Monday, October 30, 2006

From EarthWatch Radio: Too Far to Swim

by Bradford Lystra
"Polar bears are great swimmers, and part of their typical routine involves swimming between land and ice that's floating on the Arctic Ocean. The ice cover in the Arctic is shrinking as temperatures rise, and polar bears in some places are at the limits of their ability to swim long distances. A scientist with the U.S. government recently reported on four bears that drowned. It was the first time he'd seen that in 20 years of Arctic research." More at EarthWatch Radio.
Based on Charles Monnett's research, published in Polar Biology, and available on the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center:
Monnett, Charles. 2006. Observations of mortality associated with extended open-water swimming by polar bears in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.
Polar Biology, vol. 29, no. 8 (July 2006): 681-687.
The World of the Polar Bear, by Robert Nosing, is a beautiful pictorial work with text and bibliography, now on the new book shelf. [photo of mom and cub is from Nosing's book]

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Scientists Use Bee Genes to Understand Behavior

From National Public Radio: Joe Palca's story on the honeybee genome, reporting on research published in Science and Nature:

"Now that scientists have determined the complete genetic sequence of the honeybee, researchers are probing some mysteries of the bee's existence, such as how a bee's genes control its behavior." Joe Palca talks with Kim Worley, Baylor College of Medicine, a leader in the Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium. Palco also interviewed consortium project co-leader Gene Robinson, along with his co-author Charles Whitfield, for an understanding of why scientisits are interestd in the genome sequence in honeybees. [More from NPR]

Read the research:
Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera.
The Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium. Nature 443: 931 - 949 (26 Oct 2006)

. Charles W. Whitfield, Anne-Marie Cziko, and Gene E. Robinson Science 302: 296-299 (10 October 2003)

Living on Earth, an independent media program carried on many NPR stations, offered a longer conversation between Jeff Young and Dr. Robinson during last week's show. Dr. Robinson discussed the relevance of understanding the complete honeybee genome for research aimed at strengthening bee populations. [Read the transcript or download the MP3 file]

Photo credit: Scott Bauer, USDA/ARS. From the Living of Earth Web site.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Global Warming Will Alter Character of the Northeast

From the Union of Concerned Scientists

U.S. Northeast faces a hotter future

Global warming may dramatically alter the Northeast’s temperatures, precipitation, droughts, sea level, and seasons, according to a new study by independent experts in collaboration with UCS. From extreme heat to reduced snow cover to more extreme weather, the emission choices we make today can have significant consequences for the nine Northeast states. So concludes the first study released October 4 by the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA), a collaboration between the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and a team of independent scientists from universities across the Northeast and the nation. To read the full report, visit

Friday, October 20, 2006

Pollination Crisis Predicted for North America

Honeybee photograph by P.O Gustafson

From Science online, ecology news of the week, by Constance Holden:

"Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are in trouble, according to a report on North American pollinators unveiled this week by a committee of the National Research Council. The committee calls for better long-term monitoring of all pollinators, noting that few records exist for species other than honeybees." (Read more.)

Honeybee decline in California, where important cash crops such as almonds are heavily dependent on honeybees for pollination, is largely due to viral diseases compounded by the presence of the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. A search in Biological Abstracts on "varroa destructor and apis" yeilded 163 records, including this study implicating reproductive behavior as a mode of transmission:

Yue, Constanze; Schroeder, Marion; Bienefeld, Kaspar; Genersch, Elke. “Detection of viral sequences in semen of honeybees (Apis mellifera): Evidence for vertical transmission of viruses through drones.” Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, v. 92 issue 2, 2006, p. 105-108. [available on the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center]

Read Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee ecology for an excellent introduction to the subject.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Warmer Winter Predicted

Did you come to college in Ohio expecting long, cold winters? According to the National Weather Service, you can anticipate a milder winter than typical for the region. The Cleveleand Plain Dealer for Oct. 10 gave front page coverage to the news, focusing on the impact on utility bills and energy required for heating.

What about the ecological impact of many warmer winters to come? The website Imacts of Climate Change in the United States gives a thorough assessment of that future impact, through dozens of reports, including:
Critical Findings for the Great Lakes Region from the First National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change -- An Overview prepared by Peter Sousounis, Ph.D. (University of Michigan) and Patty Glick (National Wildlife Federation).

Image : A female duck on Sanctuary Marsh at North Chagrin Reservation Monday, October 9, 2006. by Gus Chan of the Plain Dealer.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Global Warming: Explore More Sources

As you contemplate this week's talks by Elizabeth Kolbert and Patrick Michaels, take a look at books received yesterday and now on the new book shelf:

Global warming in the 21st century / Bruce E. Johansen. This three-volume set includes 100 pages of bibliographic references and devotes an entire volume to melting ice and warming seas, phenomena that are readily observed and measurable in the upper latitudes of both hemispheres.

Kolbert's book is also in the library, as is Al Gore's (both currently checked out, but more copies of Kolbert's book are on the way). Note that an author search in OBIS on Gore, Al 1948-
results in 62 items, including the 1993 Climate Change Action Plan by President Clinton and Vice President Gore.

Clicking on one of the subject headings (Global Warming - Government Policy - United States) for that report leads to a host of other items, including hearings before congress and status reports on the Kyoto Protocol.

Also useful is a search of Patrick J. Michaels as a cited author in Science Citation Index. See what other scientists write in reference to his publications. As with any controversial topic, explore a variety of sources to get the information you need to assess the validity of competing claims and hypotheses.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Roger Kornberg Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Image from the cover of Science, 8 June 2001.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Roger D. Kornberg, Stanford University, CA, USA for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.

From the Nobel Prize web site, October 4, 2006:

"Transcription is the process of copying information that is stored in the genes and transferring that code to outer parts of the cell. There it is used as an instruction for protein production. Roger Kornberg was the first to create an actual picture of how transcription works at a molecular level in eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have a well-defined nucleus).

"Transcription is necessary for all life. If transcription stops, genetic information is no longer trans­ferred into the different parts of the body. Since these are then no longer renewed, the organism dies within a few days. This is what happens in cases of poisoning by certain toadstools, since the toxin stops the transcription process. Understanding of how transcription works also has a fundamental medical importance. Disturbances in the transcription process are involved in many human illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and various kinds of inflammation."

Roger Kornberg has published well over 200 research papers, including at least 70 that include transcription in the article title (Science Citation Index, search kornberg rd as author and transcription as topic, limited to title). His papers include many published in Nature, Science, Cell, PNAS, Biochemistry, and dozens of other prestigious journals. All together, his articles have been cited by thousands of other researchers. See these records in SCI, for example:

Cramer P, Bushnell DA, Kornberg RD
Structural basis of transcription: RNA polymerase II at 2.8 angstrom ngstrom resolution.
SCIENCE 292 (5523): 1863-1876 JUN 8 2001

Gnatt AL, Cramer P, Fu JH, et al.
Structural basis of transcription: An RNA polymerase II elongation complex at 3.3 angstrom resolution,
SCIENCE 292 (5523): 1876-1882 JUN 8 2001
An image from the paper co-authored with Gnatt, et al., was adapted for the cover of that issue of Science (shown above).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Physics Nobel Prize for Cosmology Based on COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer)

From the Nobel Prize Web site:

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly to John C. Mather, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA, and George F. Smoot, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA, for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Image: NASA (

"Their work looks back into the infancy of the Universe and attempts to gain some understanding of the origin of galaxies and stars. It is based on measurements made with the help of the COBE satellite launched by NASA in 1989.

"The COBE results provided increased support for the Big Bang scenario for the origin of the Universe, as this is the only scenario that predicts the kind of cosmic microwave background radiation measured by COBE. These measurements also marked the inception of cosmology as a precise science."

An author search on Mather JC and Smoot GF in Science Citation Index (SCI) results in 17 papers, including Scientific results from the cosmic background explorer (COBE), co-authored with 11 others and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 90 (11): 4766-4773 JUN 1 1993.

A later paper, Measurement of the cosmic microwave background spectrum by the COBE FIRAS instrument, coauthored with 21 others and cited 282 times, was published in Astrophysical Journal 420 (2): 439-444 Part 1, JAN 10 1994. It is available in the science library journal stacks.

For a brief introduction to COBE measurements, consult A century of physics by D. Allan Bromley, pp. 103-104. John D. Barrow's book, A history of the universe, provides a more indepth discussion of COBE and the big bang theory.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Andrew Fire and Craig Mello Win Nobel for RNA Interference Discovery

AP Photo/Michael Probst

From National Public Radio:
Americans Win Nobel for Work in Genetic Therapy
This year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to two American researchers, Andrew Fire of Stanford University and Craig Mello of the University of Massachusetts. The pair discovered how to selectively silence genes that cause disease.
Their work was published in Nature in 1998:
Potent and specific genetic interference by double-stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans, by Fire A, Xu SQ, Montgomery MK, Kostas SA, Driver SE, Mello CC. NATURE 391 (6669): 806-811 FEB 19 1998

As of October 2, 2006, this paper has been cited at least 2,503 times, as per Science Citation Index (SCI). A quick search on "rna interference" or rnai resulted in 7,591 records in SCI and 8,428 records in PubMed.

A more recent paper by Mello coauthored with G. Hutvagner and others [Sequence-specific inhibition of small RNA function] appeared in the open access journal PLoS Biology (Public Library of Science) in 2004. It has already been cited at least 72 times.

A search on "rna interference" in the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences online for background information, especially Gregory J. Hannon's article on RNA Interference (RNAi) and MicroRNAs. There are many books related to the subject accessible through the OhioLINK Library Catalog: do a subject search on RNA and limit your search to items published after 2000 for recent titles.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Celebrate Freedom - Read a Banned Book Today!

This is Banned Books Week (Sept. 23-30). What better way to celebrate than to dip into a scientific treatise that was denounced and banned by the Roman Catholic Church, yet revolutionized human understanding and paved the way for modern astronomy? On the new book shelf now:
Dialogues concerning two new sciences / by Galileo Galilei ; edited, with commentary, by Stephen Hawking. Hawking's initial commentary is a quick and fascinating read, and provides the social context and historical perspective for Galilei's work.

This title is part of On the Shoulders of Giants, which also includes the works of Copernicus, Einstein, Kepler and Newton.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Massive Star Forms by Absorption, Not Collison

From Scientific American science news September 27, 2006:

"Astronomers have captured the strongest evidence yet that the growth of high-mass stars occurs by the rapid absorption of hot gas and not by the collision of several smaller stars. Researchers observed a young high-mass star that seems to be pulling in a rotating disk of gas and spraying some of that gas outward in jets, as modeling predicts." Read more at Scientific

Two relatively new books in the library provide background information:
From Dust to Stars by Norbert Shulz
and The Origin of Stars by Michael D. Smith. Read all about it!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Women in Academic Science Face Discrimination

From Science News of the Week

U.S. universities foster "a culture that fundamentally discriminates against women," says a new report by the National Academies on the status of women in academic science and engineering. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering cites research demonstrating that women are paid less, promoted more slowly, bypassed for honors, and subjected to implicit gender bias from both their male and female colleagues. (Read more.)

A new book in the library might help women address those inequities: Success Strategies for Women in Science - a Portable Mentor. Edited by Peggy A. Pritchard, it was received Sept. 18 and is now on the new book shelf.

Also on the new book shelf is a volume of advice for succeeding beyond the academy: Alternative careers in science - leaving the ivory tower / edited by Cynthia Robbins-Roth. There are many other intriguing titles as well. Check out the new book shelf or browse online.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

OhioLINK Welcomes You to a New School Year

We are part of the amazing and bountiful consortium, OhioLINK. All Oberlin students, staff and faculty have access to this fantastic state-wide collection and superb services. This Welcome to Students from OhioLINK tells more!

It's a partnership.
OhioLINK works with Oberlin College Library to provide you with the books, articles, music, multimedia and other information you need to be successful in your studies. Check out the OhioLINK video, brochure (pdf), or news site for more info.

Research at all hours of the day.
Use the library’s Web site or the OhioLINK site anytime, anywhere to access 45 million library books and other items, millions of electronic journal articles, thousands of e-books, hundreds of educational videos and multimedia. Read more about off-campus access.

Jump start your assignment.
Try Quick Search @ OhioLINK to search multiple library databases at the same time. Quick Search will help you quickly find articles, books and other materials that are acceptable for class and research. For more quick tips on finding books and articles, choosing a database or citing a source, visit OhioLINK's tips for students page.

For all sciences, ISI's Science Citation Index is a great place to begin.

Chat with us! Or IM, email... or come to the library (it's a great place to be).
If you need help finding something, getting started with your research, or you have any questions, chat with an OhioLINK librarian online or visit the science library contact us page.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Find a Carrel to Park Your Stuff and Study

Study carrels are available in the science library. Any student is welcome to apply to have a carrel all semester; assignments will be made on September 11 to those who apply between now and then. We'll continue assigning carrels throughout semester, as longs as they are open, but those with the best view of north quad get requested early! More info and application form.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Welcome! to all New and Returning Students.

We are still in the midst of shifting the collection and removing boxes of journals that are leaving the library - but the computers are all accessible and it is relatively easy to find whatever you need. A shipment of new books has arrived just in time to welcome all new and returning students. Come in and browse when your orientation schedule brings you through the science center!

Among the new books are Stephen Hawking's A Briefer History of Time and a visually remarkable book by David Attenborough, Life in the Undergrowth. It is full of incredible photographs of invertebrates of every description, in the act of preying on other creatures, devouring vegetation, mating, caring for larva, building nests and traps - quite a stunning collection. It complements nicely Naskrecki's The Smaller Majority, also in the science library.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Collection is on Wheels! From Mudd to Science

A professional moving company is in the midst of moving 297 shelves or 891 linear feet of science related materials from the main library in Mudd to the science library. More than half of the material comes from the collection on Mudd's 4th level, and increases the number of volumes we already have in the the Q, S, and T classes of the Library of Congress classification. Items classed in Q include general science, science education and biography, philosophy and history of science, and social aspects of science. It's a fascinating, interdisciplinary collection, from Aristotle's Physics to Sisters in science: conversations with black women scientists about race, gender, and their passion for science.

A significant number of the "Q books" are devoted to systems science, artificial intelligence, cybernetics, and older writings (1980s!) on machine theory; e.g., The Recursive Universe: cosmic complexity and the limits of scientific knowledge.

The S and T volumes represent an equally wide-ranging collection of books and serials. The S class includes agriculture, aquaculture, plant culture, forestry, animal and veterinary science, and, new to the science library, hunting sports.

Only three portions of the T class are coming from main to the science library: TD environmental technology; TN mining and metallurgy; and TP chemical technology. Those classes are already well-represented here and the materials from main will integrate easily into our existing collection.

Completely new to the science library are 136 shelves of government documents classified with SuDoc numbers (Superintendent of Documents classes A, C13.10, C30, C55, EP and I49). These classes are the print documents from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serivce. Microfiche from these agencies will remain in the main library.

The transfer of materials from Mudd to science is one of the first steps in a major reorganization in the main library, while consolidating more of the science materials in the Science Center. A primary goal is recreating the main level of Mudd as the Academic Commons, which requires moving large portions of the reference and government document collections to other locations.

Making room for the materials from Mudd necessitated removal of long runs of journals and Chemical Abstracts (post-1966) from our compact shelving. We targeted for withdrawal or transfer to remote storage (CONStor) all print volumes that are duplicated online in JSTOR, as well as selected titles that are in the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center.

Those volumes are now in hundreds of boxes, awaiting shipment either to CONStor or overseas. Volumes being withdrawn because they are already in CONStor (deposited by one of the other libraries of the Five Colleges of Ohio) will be shipped elsewhere. We are working with a firm in Cleveland who will arrange transport of our journals to libraries in Albania. Read more in Reading Girl Speaks.

There are still plenty of places to read and work in the library, despite dozens of book carts in the aisles and boxes stacked along walls and on tables. The library should look completely normal before new student orientation at the end of this month, when you can enjoy browsing all of the expanded, integrated collection.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

HIV/AIDS Science Feature Video

From Science
HIV/AIDS Science Feature Video

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Science has produced a feature video expanding upon award-winning journalist Jon Cohen's articles on HIV/AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean, published in the 28 July issue of Science. Included in this video are interviews with notable scientists, physicians, and activists working to help treat and prevent HIV/AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean. To view the video, go to

National Public Radio has provided extensive analysis of the current state of HIV/AIDS research and public health policy, including a lengthy interview between Stephen Lewis, the U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and Farai Chideya. Lewis is the author of Race Against Time. [Listen to the NPR interview]

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Growing Up in Urban Sprawl and the Impact on Adolescent Development

Howard Frumkin offers new insight on the old adage it takes a village to raise a child in his book Urban Sprawl and Public Health. As reported on Earthwatch Radio, over-dependence on cars in areas of urban sprawl stymies the development of young adolescents who must rely on an adult for transportation. Learning to navigate indpendently from home to school, shops, parks, recreation and other community areas is an important part of social development. Such exploration is nearly impossible in far-flung suburbs without access to bike paths or mass transit. A village environment that brings together housing and commercial/community services within kid-friendly distances can be achieved in small towns and urban areas alike. Urban sprawl creates fomidable barriers for an adolescent on foot, bike or public bus. Check out the book from the main library, or read more at Earthwatch.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Brain-Machine Interfaces: Web Focus Feature on Nature

From the current biological sciences "Web Focus" on the Nature web site [photo and text from]:

Brain-machine interfaces promise to aid paralyzed patients by re-routing movement-related signals around damaged parts of the nervous system. A new study in Nature demonstrates a human with spinal injury manipulating a screen cursor and robotic devices by thought alone. Implanted electrodes in his motor cortex recorded neural activity, and translated it into movement commands. A second study, in monkeys, shows that brain-machine interfaces can operate at high speed, greatly increasing their clinical potential. This Nature Web Focus includes exclusive interviews and video footage of experiments, alongside papers that paved the way for these recent advances. [More from]

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Galapagos Islands Finches Rise to the Challenge

From Science:
Competition Drives Big Beaks Out of Business
by Elizabeth Pennisi

"When intruders started eating up all the large seeds on one of the Galápagos Islands, the resident finch population retooled, researchers report on page 224 of this issue of Science (14 July 2006). In about a year, their beaks shrank, becoming better equipped to eat smaller seeds.

"At the beginning of the study, the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) shared the island only with the cactus finch, which uses its pointed beak to eat cactus fruit and pollen. Lacking competition from other finches, the blunt-beaked medium ground finch depended on smallish seeds, which were easier to eat. That is, until a severe drought in 1977 devastated the plants that produced small seeds. For the most part, only those birds with beaks big enough to break open large, hard-to-crack seeds survived; in just a few generations, there was a 4% increase in average beak size (Science, 26 April 2002, p. 707)." (Read more.)

Photo credit: B. R. GRANT ET AL., SCIENCE

Exurbs: the Antithesis of Energy Efficient Development

Earthwatch Radio considers a new book now being processed for the main library:
This land : the battle over sprawl and the future of America by Anthony Flint. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.

Flint describes the trend of independent subdivisions, miles from the nearest community. "They're untethered to any city, and the people who live in these areas feel no need to ever go into the big city. They stay in the subdivisions that are built way out beyond the periphery, beyond the last reach of existing suburban development, and drive to the big box stores and to office parks or stand-alone office buildings off freeway ramps." This type of development is completely car-dependent and requires an extraordinary amount of energy to develop and maintain. Flint says redevelopment of older urban neighborhoods is the best answer for a future of tight energy supplies. [read more at Earthwatch Radio]. Book cover image from Johns Hopkins Univ. Press

Monday, July 10, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore's book An Inconvient Truth: the planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about it (Rodale, c2006) is not yet available in the college library (on order) - but you can see the movie now in one of several theaters in the area. hosts a blog, news, reviews, the movie's trailer, and numerous links to more information about the book and film. As stated at Climatecrisis, "An Inconvenient Truth argues that global warming is not just about science, nor is it just a political issue: it is a moral issue and we have a responsibility to do something about it."

Linda Cook, Quad City Times (Davenport, IA) had this to say about the movie:

"In my heart of hearts, I know this isn't the best way to start a movie review. But in my heart of hearts, I also know I need to do what's right.
Because you owe it to yourself, to your parents, to your children, your grandchildren, and to the very planet on which we live

The movie effectively and convincingly presents scientific data demonstrating that global warming is an observable, measurable phenomenon. Among the abudantly clear evidence cited in the movie, Gore discusses fluctuations in dissolved carbon and oxygen embedded in ice sheets that are hundreds of thousands years old. Global warming is not a short-term aberration we should ignore, but a lasting effect of human activity we must correct or face dire consequences.

There are many recent books in the collection that provide more data and perspectives:
Global warming : a very short introduction by Mark Maslin (Oxford University Press, c2004) is now on the new book shelf.
Two other, more recent, books are
Field notes from a catastrophe : man, nature, and climate change / Elizabeth Kolbert (Bloomsbury Pub., 2006) and
Kicking the carbon habit : global warming and the case for renewable and nuclear energy / William Sweet (Columbia University Press, c2006).

Search "global warming" as a subject heading in OBIS to explore other titles.

What do scientists really say about global warming? Gore points out that in a random sample of recent peer-reviewed papers in science journals (well over 600 papers in the sample drawn from thousands of relevant papers), no scientist disagreed with the observation that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity. It is only the popular media that continues to perpetuate the myth that significant disagreement divides the scientific community on this issue.

Ohio Journal of Science Archive Now Online

The Ohio Academy of Science and Ohio State University have collaborated to make available the complete digital archive of the Ohio Journal of Science, for those volumes published more than two years ago. This open access archive is part of The Knowledge Bank at OSU. Content will be updated on an annual basis.

The archive includes an index of all obituaries published in the journal. See the entry for noted Oberlin ornithologist and college professor Lynds Jones, for example, published as part of the academy's 1951 Annual Report [pdf of report].

Friday, July 07, 2006

Two New Databases via OhioLINK for Computer Science and Environment

Check out the new Ebsco databases now available to OhioLINK libraries and our faculty, staff and students:

Computers & Applied Sciences Complete

Index, abstracts and full text of articles in many engineering disciplines, computer theory, and new technologies. (more...)

Environment Complete

Index, abstracts and full text of articles on environmental studies. (more...)

Faculty Publication: Norman C. Craig

Craig, N. C., P. Groner, and D. C. McKean. Equilibrium structures for butadiene and ethylene: compelling evidence for II-electron delocalization in butadiene.

The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 110 (23): 7641-7469 [full-text online from Am Chem Soc web site, for subscribers only]

Striped Bass Comeback Threatened by Omega-3 Market

From the public radio program Living on Earth (LOE):

The 1980s fight to bring back the striped bass is considered one of the greatest environmental success stories. But, today the species faces a new and potentially devastating threat: the omega-3 market. Dick Russell, author of Striper Wars: An American Fish Story, talked with LOE host Steve Curwood about what it will take to save a species that's already been saved.

The preferred prey of striped bass are menhaden, a small, bony, oily fish that has been present along the Atlantic Coast in huge numbers in the past. Menhaden are being harvested aggressively and ground up into feed for livestock and aquaculture. And, since they are such an oily fish, they are an excellent source of oil for omega-3 dietary supplements. Overfishing of the menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay has led to severe stress for the bass, which are forced to eat less nutritious prey such as blue crab. That stress has contributed to outbreaks of a bacterial infection that causes a chronic wasting disease characterized by lesions and also impacts the internal organs. Nearly 70% of the bass are infected.

In the interview, Russel states "I'm just afraid if they continue to fish menhaden at the levels they have been – which is taking like literally millions of fish, millions of pounds of fish every summer – that not only are the menhaden going to perhaps disappear, but all the striped bass may go, too."

Further Reading:

ASMFC, 2003. 2003 Atlantic striped bass advisory report. ASFMF Striped Bass Technical Committee Report 2003-03. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, 82 pp.

ASMFC, 2004. Atlantic menhaden stock assessment report for peer review. Stock Assessment Report No. 04-01 (Supplement). Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, 145 pp.

Uphoff, J. H., Jr. 2003. Predator-prey analysis of striped bass and Atlantic menhaden in upper Chesapeake Bay. Fisheries Management & Ecology, 10(5):313-322. [pdf on OhioLINK EJC]

The entire issue of Fisheries Management & Ecology, vol. 10, no. 5, Oct. 2003 is devoted to papers on the striped bass and its population ecology and life history on the Atlantic coast.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Poison Ivy Thrives When CO2 Increases

Earthwatch Radio on 5 July 2006 highlighted research that was reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers at Duke University have studied the effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide on a plot of southeastern forest. All of the plants showed a significant increase in growth and biomass, but poison ivy stood out in its remarkable ability to take advantage of the increased CO2.

Quoting William Schlesinger, an environmental chemist at Duke University:
"The poison ivy, as it turned out, not only was it growing faster and accumulating more plant tissue, but it had higher concentrations of the allergenic compound in its leaves. This is the compound that essentially, when you rub it on your skin, produces the skin rash and allergy. So we can look to poison ivy as being bigger as a plant and more toxic in future environments of high carbon dioxide."

Read more at Earthwatch Radio or download the full article at PNAS [free open-access article].

Bird Extinction Estimates May Be Too Low

From Scientific American

Since 1500, more than 150 bird species have disappeared from the world, including the much lamented dodo. This ground bird disappeared from its island home before Carl Linnaeus, the father of scientific taxonomy, even described it in the 18th century. Given that many of the nearly 10,000 known bird species have only recently been described--including those only available from remains like the dodo--some biologists suggest that current extinction rates have been seriously underestimated and will rise rapidly in the coming century.
Read more at Scientific American

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Seven Million Articles in OhioLINK's EJC!

The seven millionth article was recently added to OhioLINK’s Electronic Journal Center. The EJC provides students, faculty and staff at participating OhioLINK institutions with instantaneous online access to more than 6,900 journal titles from 90+ publishers.

OhioLINK users download 4.81 million scholarly articles from the EJC annually. A total of 21.9 million articles have been downloaded from the EJC since its inception in April 1998.

More EJC stats may be found at the EJC Fast Facts page:

[press release from Candi Clevenger, Communications Manager, OhioLINK]

Monday, June 19, 2006

College Republicans Call for Beach Parties to Mock Global Warming

This piece was published by syndicated columnist Edward Flattau of Global Horizons, and redistributed June 1 by BushGreenwatch, a web site devoted to "tracking the Bush Administration's environmental misdeeds."

"Whatever happened to the Republican Party of Teddy Roosevelt, a political party distinguished by its forward-looking environmental policy? Today, we have the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) urging its 200,000 student members on 1500 campuses to hold beach parties to mock the threat of global warming. If this is representative of the generation that is going to inherit the earth, the earth is in trouble big-time.

"The CRNC derives its dismissive view of global warming from a small clique of increasingly discredited scientists who claim the climate change threat is an exercise in scaremongering. It is a claim that is refuted by the weight of evidence, and subsequently by a consensus of scientists (including leading climatologists) throughout the world." Read more.

Edward Flattau's 1998 book, Tracking the Charlatans, is available in the Main Library.

Warmer Waters Threaten Alaska's Oyster Industry

From National Public Radio


Day to Day, June 19, 2006 · A temperature rise in the once-frigid waters of Alaska is having a significant effect on the state's oyster industry. Vibrio, a bacteria common in warmer waters, is showing up in the region. And that's changing the quality and safety of the shellfish. Ashley Gross of the Alaska Public Radio Network reports. Listen @ NPR

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oberlin renews our membership in BioMed Central

Oberlin, as a member of OhioLINK and the Oberlin Group, is a supporting member of BioMed Central, which means Oberlin researchers can submit manuscripts for publication in any of the BioMed Central journals without paying a manuscript review fee. Read more at the BMC site. Open access at BMC ensures that your research reaches as wide an audience as possible, once articles are vetted through scholary peer-review and editorial services. Explore the BMC subject list of journals, which continues to expand, and covers every conceivable area of the life sciences. While there, check out the BMC Cell Biology image of the month.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

NAL Digital Repository Offers USDA Publications Online

The National Agricultural Library Digital Repository (NALDR) includes more than 2,100 individual volumes or issues, representing 29 unique series or book titles. Visit the repository.

From the web site: The NALDR provides access to publications either digitized by NAL or through NAL’s partnerships with other institutions (see NALDR Projects). The majority of the publications available in the NALDR were published by the US Department of Agriculture. Examples include the Agriculture Information Bulletin, the Agricultural Economic Report, and the Yearbook of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A comprehensive list of full text publications is provided on the Publications - Additional Information page.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Friends of Wetlands Newsletter Online

The regional environmental group, Friends of Wetlands, is publishing their newsletter online. The newest issue describes a walk through the Boy Scouts Camp Firelands, which has entrances on both Bates and Gore Orphanage roads (west of Oberlin). A branch of the Vermilion River winds through the camp. The camp offers acres and acres of beautiful woodlands, with a remarkable assemblage of flora and fauna. Physics professor Dan Styer was on hand, assisting with identification of species. Read more about Friends of Wetlands.

Friday, May 26, 2006

E.E. Barnard's Milky Way Atlas Digitized by Georgia Tech Library

From the Scout Report, May 26, 2006 | Volume 12, Number 21:

A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way

Born in 1857 in Nashville, Edward Emerson Barnard started his long career as an apprentice to a photographer at the age of nine. Over the following decades, he would become one of America’s most famous observational amateurs, a position that would lead him to create his noted atlases of various regions of the Milky Way. The atlases were finally published in 1927, Barnard passed away in 1923, and regrettably they fell into obscurity. Fortunately, staff members at the Georgia Institute of Technology Library’s Digital Initiatives Department decided to digitize this remarkable creation and place them online at this site. Visitors can search the collection galactic longitude or latitude, or just by browsing through such regions as the Pleiades and others. The site also contains a number of biographical essays on Bernard and a brief glossary of astronomical objects. [KMG]

The original, 2-volume, 1927 publication is also in the Oberlin College Library [OBIS record].

This report copyrighted by The Internet Scout Project (

Thursday, May 25, 2006

New Books in Interdisciplinary Studies

Among the new books received this week are a few that sythesize findings in neuroscience, religion, psychology and behavorial studies.

Soul, Psyche, Brain : new directions in the study of religion and brain-mind science, edited by Kelly Bulkeley (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), joins another book by the editor already in the science library:

The Wondering Brain: thinking about religion with and beyond cognitive neuroscience (Routledge, 2005).

A number of other books by Kelly Bulkeley are in the Main Library and/or accessible electronically through OBIS. [Author search in OBIS for Bulkeley]

Other interdisciplinary books received this week include Michael Rutter's Genes and Behavior: nature-nature interplay explained
(Blackwell Pub., 2006). and

Attachment and Bonding: a new synthesis. Report of the 92nd Dahlem workshop. (MIT Press, 2005).
From the editor's summary: "Attachment and bonding are evolved processes; the mechanisms that permit the development of selective social bonds are assumed to be very ancient, based on neural circuitry rooted deep in mammalian evolution, but the nature and timing of these processes and their ultimate and proximate causes are only beginning to be understood. In this Dahlem Workshop Report, scientists from different disciplines--including anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and behavioral biology--come together to explore the concepts of attachment and bonding from diverse perspectives." More new books

Monday, May 22, 2006

Open Access Articles Cited More Frequently

A new study by Gunther Eysenpach, published in PLoS Biology (vol. 4, May 2006), provides evidence of a citation advantage for articles that are openly accessible in a specific journal (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), compared to articles that are not openly accessible in that same publication. Eysenpach's data come from a long-term bibliometric analysis of 1,492 original research articles; 212 (14.2% of all articles) were OA articles paid by the author, and 1,280 (85.8%) were non-OA articles. Eysenpach's conclusion: "We found strong evidence that, even in a journal that is widely available in research libraries, OA articles are more immediately recognized and cited by peers than non-OA articles published in the same journal. OA is likely to benefit science by accelerating dissemination and uptake of research findings." Read more.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Speciation of Humans and Chimpanzees

A report in Nature (advance online report dated 17 May 2006) on the divergence-convergence-divergence of humans and chimpanzees has loosed a flurry of news reports and response, some spurious, others more reasoned. Search speciation humans chimpanzees on Google and you'll find a flood of responses to the Nature paper. The full article can be read online through Oberlin's subscription, for Oberlin affiliated users. Off-campus users will have to login before downloading the full-text article.

Genetic evidence for complex speciation of humans and chimpanzees.
Nick Patterson, Daniel J. Richter, Sante Gnerre, Eric S. Lander and David Reich.

Student publication: Manasi Bhate

Library Student Assistant Manasi Bhate's abstract of her conference presentation appears in the March issue of FASEB Journal, as reported in Science Citation Index (part of the ISI Web of Knowledge):

Bhate M, He IP, Strange K
GCK-3 induced phosphorylation alters CIC anion channel outer pore structure
FASEB JOURNAL 20 (4): A324-A324 Part 1 MAR 6 2006

Congratulations, Manasi!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Discover Ocean Creatures that Inhabit Hot Vents

From CSA Discovery Guides
Hydrothermal Vent Communities
(Released May 2006) by Carolyn Scearce

At hydrothermal vent sites, hot mineral rich water spews from the sea floor, and mixes with cold oceanic water. Vent chemistry provides the energy and raw materials with which microorganisms grow. These microorganisms form the basis of the food chain in which unexpectedly high organism densities and growth rates are observed. Unique communities are formed around vents, attracting unusual creatures such as red-plumed giant tube worms and massive clams, which cluster around the dark chimneys where vent fluids emerge.

The CSA Discovery Guides series includes articles in all disciplines, providing references to key scholarly articles as well as relevant Web resources. Other CSA Discovery Guides in the Natural Sciences.