Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DNA barcoding mosquitoes to fight disease

"DNA barcoding" will be used in Africa to help identify and track the mosquito species that spread the worm larvae causing lymphatic filariasis (LF), commonly known as elephantiasis. This may lead to a minimized and more accurately-targeted application of insecticides.

The technology was kicked into high gear with the publication of "Barcoding animal life: cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 divergences among closely related species" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Biological Sciences) by P.D.N. Hebert, S. Ratnasingham and J.R. deWaard of the University of Guelph in 2003.

See also:

PubMed Central - free open access journals

PubMed Central is the free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journals, from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Journals recently added to PMC include:

See also:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Victory gardens!

[Image: UWDCC]

Self-reliance is promoted by governments in hard economic times, especially during times of war when food may be rationed.

In the United States, citizens have been urged to grow "victory gardens" or "war gardens" at least as far back as World War I.

Here are some of the materials available to those interested in these self-help, do-it-yourself gardening movements:

Online digitized e-books:

Materials in UW-Madison Libraries

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"The Wisconsin Gardener" video series

"The Wisconsin Gardener" is a long-running series of Wisconsin Public Television. Master gardener Shelley Ryan and her guests present information and advice specifically for gardening in the Midwest.

Transcripts for over 60 episodes are available for free from the show's website, and ten DVDs are available for purchase directly from WPT. Many libraries lend one or more of the 30-40 minute episodes on videotape or DVD for free, including:
  • Appleton Public Library

  • Beaver Dam Community Library
  • Berlin Public Library

  • Brown County Library
  • DeForest Public Library

  • Door County Library (Sturgeon Bay)

  • Elkhorn Public Library

  • Indianhead Federated Library System

  • Kenosha Public Library

  • Ladysmith Public Library

  • Madison Area Technical College Library
  • Madison Public Library

  • Manitowoc Public Library

  • Marshfield Public Library

  • Middleton Public Library

  • Milwaukee County Federated Library System
  • Northeast Wisconsin Public Library System

  • Oconto Falls High School Library

  • Olbrich Gardens' Schumacher Library (Madison)

  • Oshkosh Public Library

  • Ripon Public Library

  • South Central Library System

  • Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Library

  • Tomahawk Public Library

  • UW-Stevens Point Library

  • Wauwatosa Public Library

  • WI DPI Reference & Loan Library

  • Winnefox Library System

Plants & insects in the National Archives

The United States National Archives contains a wealth of information in multiple formats. Search the Archival Research Catalog for topics of interest, or search by departments such as:

  • Records of the U.S. Food Administration, 1917 - 1920

  • Records of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, 1863 - 1956

  • Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, 1839 - 1981

  • Records of the Extension Service, 1888 - 1995

  • Records of International Conferences, Commissions, and Expositions, 1825 - 1972

  • Records of the Office of Government Reports, 1932 - 1947

  • Records of the Bureau of Land Management, 1685 - 2006

  • Records of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering, 1879 - 1972

  • Records of the U.S. Geological Survey, 1839 - 2002

  • Records of the Work Projects Administration, 1922 - 1944

  • Records of the National Park Service, 1785 - 2005

  • Records of the Forest Service, 1870 - 2000

  • Records of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1875 - 1977

  • Records of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1889 - 2008

  • Records of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, 1909 - 1992

  • Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, 1944 - 2000

  • General Records of the Department of Energy, 1915 - 2003

  • Audiovisual Collection, 1957 - 2006

  • Records of U.S. Foreign Assistance Agencies, 1942 - 1961

  • Records of the Cooperative State Research Service, 1888 - 1989

  • Records of the Office of Education, 1870 - 1979

  • Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826 - 1981

  • Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 1876 - 1959

  • Records of the Office of War Information, 1926 - 1951

  • Records of the Agency for International Development, 1948 - 2003
Sample record:

"Photographs Relating to Entomological Research, compiled ca. 1898 - ca. 1942"
  • Series from Record Group 7: Records of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, 1863-1956

  • Contact: Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001. PHONE: 301-837-3530; FAX: 301-837-3621; EMAIL:

  • Subjects Represented in the Archival Material:

  • Agricultural experiment stations
    Agricultural machinery
    Agricultural research
    Clarksville (Montgomery county, Tennessee)
    Columbus (Franklin county, Ohio)
    Farmville (Chatham county, North Carolina)
    Madison (Dane county, Wisconsin)
    Phoenix (Maricopa county, Arizona)
    Richmond (Virginia)
    Ventura (Ventura county, California)
    Whittier (Los Angeles county, California)

  • Contributors to Authorship and/or Production of the Archival Materials:
    Department of Agriculture. Federal Horticultural Board. (08/21/1912 - 07/01/1928), Photographer

  • Scope & content: This series consists of images relating to entomological research conducted on plants and insects from 1898 to 1942. These images were collected primarily from offices within the Division of Entomology and later the Bureau of Entomology and Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. The photographs show experimental farm fields and orchards, agricultural research facilities, pests, insect damage to various crops, including mushrooms and potatoes; and insect eradication efforts. There are also images of agency research activities, including field work and various types of machinery and equipment used in Bureau facilities in Clarksville, Tennessee; Farmville, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Madison, Wisconsin; Phoenix, Arizona; Richmond, Virginia; Hogen, Utah; Whittier, California; and Ventura, California. In addition, there are a few of the photographs obtained from the Federal Horticultural Board that show flower bulbs, insect pests, insect damage to flowers, and pest eradication efforts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Biological databases and bioinformatics

Oxford Journals has launched the open access journal Database: The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation.

The new journal aims to publish "novel ideas in database research and the curation of biological information... to strengthen the bridge between database developers, curators and users." More specifically, it "will publish detailed descriptions of databases, database tools and curation strategies in the broad arena of biology... shorter papers describing significant updates to established databases... user tutorials and technical notes...".

Related journals:

Related books, e-books & proceedings:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Open access journals via Wiley-Blackwell

Wiley-Blackwell offers various
open access options, including "OnlineOpen" (author or funding agency pays for individual articles to be publicly-accessible); policies regarding the NIH, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Wellcome Trust mandates; and "Open Access Backfiles" (society or funding agency pays for digitization of past issues). Journal backfiles available for free to the public include:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Top-ranked Journals in Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Top-ranked Journals in Ecology and Environmental Sciences

1. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics (1970+ online)
Nature (1869-1875, 1950+ online)
Science (1880+ online)
Trends in Ecology and Evolution (1995+ online)
Ecological Monographs (1931+ online)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (1915+ online)
Systematic Biology (1992+ online)
Ecology (1920+ online)
Ecology Letters (1998+ online)
The American Naturalist (1867+ online)
Conservation Biology (1987+ online)
Environmental Health Perspectives (1972+ online)
Molecular Ecology (1992+ online)
Ecological Applications (1991+ online)
Journal of Ecology (1913+ online)
Global Change Biology (1997+ online)
Journal of Applied Ecology (1964+ online)
Oecologia (1968+ online)
Ecosystems (1968+ online)
Environmental Science & Technology (1967+ online)

Based on citations per paper among journals with 10,000 or more citations, 1998-2008.

Wiley Interscience downtime: 4/14

The libraries have been informed that due to essential site maintenance, access to Wiley Interscience will be temporarily unavailable on:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
3:00am - 4:00 am Central Time

Subscription journals affected include:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Grow your soup": Donate seeds with a click!

When you visit and click on "GROW," Campbell Soup Co. will donate 50 seeds to Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters across the country.

Plus, each can of condensed soup has a code that you can enter on the site to receive a free packet of tomato seeds to grow at home. The campaign lasts through June 21 and you can click every day!

Community Projects

Along with a group called Urban Farming, Campbell is partnering with FFA chapters to plant community gardens in New York, NY (April 16); Atlanta, GA (April 21); Camden, NJ (May 2); Chicago, IL (May 12) and Detroit, MI (May 20).

Campbell is also working with FFA to help restore five barns in Clackamas, OR; Cherryvale, KS; Reddick, IL; Nashville, TN and Corfu, NY.

White papers and pre-prints

Working papers, white papers, gray literature, pre-prints, technical reports, conference presentations...

There's a wealth of research publications that don't fall into the categories of "journal article" or "book" -

ASABE Technical Library

Publications of the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers:
  • Standards, meeting papers, conference proceedings, lecture series, journals, and more
Conference Papers Index

Index to presentations from such conferences as:
  • Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science
  • Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America
  • Congress of the Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology
  • International Plant Protection Congress
  • Symposium on Horticulture in Europe
  • Symposium on Insect-Plant Relationships
NTIS (National Technical Information Service)

Published results of U.S. federally-funded research, such as:
  • Documentation and User Guides for SPBLOB: A Computer Simulation Model of the Joint Population Dynamics for Loblolly Pine and the Southern Pine Beetle (Forest Service)
  • Honey (National Agricultural Statistics Service)
  • Invasive Species Databases: Proceedings of a Workshop held in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 12-13, 1998
  • National Plant Genome Initiative: 2009-2013 (National Science and Technology Council)
  • Rice: Situation and Outlook Yearbook 2008 (Economic Research Service)
  • Soybean Rust: A Rising Star in Phytopathology (Department of Energy, Joint Genome Inst.)
Arxiv E-prints

The Quantitative Biology subject area includes subcategories for:
Science Accelerator

Publications of the U.S. Department of Energy, such as:
  • Bioenergy Alliance high-tonnage bioenergy crop production and conversion into conventional fuels
  • Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program status report
  • Development of a nematode biocontrol agent for agriculture
  • Microbially derived agriculture crop protection products
SSRN (Social Science Research Network)

Focus on socioeconomics, but still a source of plant and insect research such as:
  • Actual Crop Water Use in Project Countries: A Synthesis at the Regional Level (World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4288)
  • Analysis of Crop Choice: Adapting to Climate Change in Latin American Farms (World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4162)
  • Conserving Crop Genetic Resources on Smallholder Farms in Hungary: Institutional Analysis (FEEM Working Paper No. 63.04)
  • Crop Diversification in Orissa: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis (Jawaharlal Nehru University Working Paper Series)
  • Insect Resistance Management for Bt Corn: An Assessment of Community Refuge Schemes (AgBioForum)
  • Trends in Australian Agriculture (Productivity Commission Research Paper)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Organic vs Conventional Production: Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial

Researchers performing long-term agricultural studies in Wisconsin conclude that " systems were more profitable than the Midwestern standards of continuous corn, no-till corn and soybeans, and intensively managed alfalfa" while "rotational grazing of dairy heifers was as profitable as the organic systems."

Further, " forage crops can yield both as much dry matter as their conventional counterparts and with quality sufficient to produce as much milk..." and organic corn, soybean, and winter wheat "can produce 90% as well as their conventionally managed counterparts..." with weed control being a problem on average in one out of three years, and production being almost identical in two out of three years.

Original articles:

Chavas, J-P., Posner, J.L., Hedtcke, J.L. (2009). Organic and conventional production systems in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial: II. Economic and risk analysis 1993-2006. Agronomy Journal 101:2, 288-295.

  • Currently free - future access via UW-Madison library online subscription

Posner, J.L., Baldock, J.O., Hedtcke, J.L. (2008). Organic and conventional production systems in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials: I. Productivity 1990-2002. Agronomy Journal 100:2, 253-260.

  • UW-Madison access via library online subscription

More information:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Informaworld downtime: 4/10, 4/17

The Informaworld database will be down:
  • Friday, April 10th 6:00pm - Saturday, April 11th 2:00am
  • Friday, April 17th 10:00pm - Saturday, April 18th 6:00am
Informaworld is the interface for several publisher imprints, including Taylor & Francis and Routledge. Publications affected include: