Archive for the ‘earth sciences’ Category

banana_slug_thumbThe Encyclopedia of Life has an ambitious mission statement to increase awareness and understanding of living nature through a resource that gathers, generates, and shares knowledge in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource. They remain committed to bringing you information on all organisms, as they say “Our knowledge of the many life-forms on Earth – of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria – is scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, and in the minds of people everywhere. Imagine what it would mean if this information could be gathered together and made available to everyone – anywhere – at a moment’s notice.”


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GlasgowGlasgow City of Science is a partnership of over 50 organisations including Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, universities, Glasgow School of Art, colleges, research pools and local industry. Their mission, “To inspire the curious, stimulate the creative, empower the wise and connect those with passion”, determines that their site has something for everyone with an interest in any aspect of science. Whether you want to keep up to date with current developments, or sign up for one of their Science Walks, the site has something for you.

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A report by Dame Janet Finch argues that there is a powerful “moral” case for publicly funded research to be freely available. BBC reporter Pallab Ghosh provides a good summary of where we are at the moment, and the cases for and against the expansion of free full-text access to publicly funded research.

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The debate over Pluto’s status as a planet continues…


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Patrick Sachon explains how the Met Office counts pollen, by heading to the roof and laboratories of King’s College London.

He shows how the pollen is captured in a device called a Burkard trap and then taken to the laboratory where individual pollen grains are counted and ascribed to particular species, to produce data for national pollen forecasts.”

For more information from the Met Office about pollen counts, visit the Met Office website or if you have a smart phone, download Benadryl’s® Social Pollen Count app which shows you exactly how pollen is behaving in your area right now, by combining official Met Office data, social activity and live pollen alerts from fellow sufferers.

Pollen in the UK

Source: metoffice.gov.uk

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This BBC news article discusses the radioactive contamination found in Bluefin tuna fish,which is attributed to the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. Scientists have carried out research on fish found in the waters off San Diego, and say the evidence reminds us of how eco-regions are interconnected, despite being thousands of miles apart.

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Demo version of the new Map of Life resource which brings together information about species distribution using a Google Maps-based website.

Specifically you are able to:

  1. Display expert range maps, point occurrence records, records from study areas such as reserves and larger regions. These are shown as layers on maps, and a layer control widget allows you to adjust ordering, visibility, etc .
  2. Retrieve a list of species for the vicinity of any location worldwide using the species list tool. Simply set search radius and group of interest, and right click (control-click on Macs) your mouse button on a point of the map.

This Beta version is the first stage in the Map of Life project. For more information see the project team’s article in Trends in Ecology and Evolution

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