The role of medical libraries in undergraduate education: a case study in genetics. (1/26)

Between 1996 and 2001, the Health Science Center Libraries and Department of Zoology at the University of Florida partnered to provide a cohesive and comprehensive learning experience to undergraduate students in PCB3063, "Genetics." During one semester each year, a librarian worked with up to 120 undergraduates, providing bibliographic and database instruction in the tools that practicing geneticists use (MEDLINE, GenBank, BLAST, etc.). Students learned to evaluate and synthesize the information that they retrieved, coupling it with information provided in classroom lectures, thus resulting in well-researched short papers on an assigned genetics topic. Exit surveys of students indicated that the majority found the library sessions and librarian's instruction to be useful. Responses also indicated that the project facilitated increased understanding of genetics concepts and appreciation for the scientific research process and the relevance of genetics to the real world. The library benefited from this partnership on a variety of fronts, including the development of skilled library users, pretrained future clientele, and increased visibility among campus research laboratories. The course and associated information instruction and assigned projects can be considered models for course-integrated instruction and the role of medical libraries in undergraduate education.  (+info)

Hans H. Ussing--scientific work: contemporary significance and perspectives. (2/26)

As a zoologist, Hans H. Ussing began his scientific career by studying the marine plankton fauna in East Greenland. This brought him in contact with August Krogh at the time George de Hevesy, Niels Bohr and Krogh planned the application of artificial radioactive isotopes for studying the dynamic state of the living organism. Following his studies of protein turnover of body tissues with deuterium-labeled amino acids, Ussing initiated a new era of studies of transport across epithelial membranes. Theoretical difficulties in the interpretation of tracer fluxes resulted in novel concepts such as exchange diffusion, unidirectional fluxes, flux-ratio equation, and solvent drag. Combining methods of biophysics with radioactive isotope technology, Ussing introduced and defined the phrases 'short-circuit current', 'active transport pathway' and 'shunt pathway', and with frog skin as experimental model, he unambiguously proved active transport of sodium ions. Conceived in his electric circuit analogue of frog skin, Ussing associated transepithelial ion fluxes with the hitherto puzzling 'bioelectric potentials'. The two-membrane hypothesis of frog skin initiated the study of epithelial transport at the cellular level and raised new questions about cellular mechanisms of actions of hormones and drugs. His theoretical treatment of osmotic water fluxes versus fluxes of deuterium labeled water resulted in the discovery of epithelial water channels. His discovery of paracellular transport in frog skin bridged studies of high and low resistance epithelia and generalized the description of epithelial transport. He devoted the last decade of his scientific life to solute-coupled water transport. He introduced the sodium recirculation theory of isotonic transport, and in an experimental study, he obtained the evidence for recirculation of sodium ions in toad small intestine. In penetrating analyses of essential aspects of epithelial membrane transport, Ussing provided insights of general applicability and powerful analytical methods for the study of intestine, kidney, respiratory epithelia, and exocrine glands-of equal importance to biology and medicine.  (+info)

Mesh size and bird capture rates in Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil. (3/26)

Mist-nets alternating 36-mm and 61-mm mesh in woods and low vegetation of "cerrado" (Brazilian savanna) tested bird-capture efficiency relative to bird length and mass. Of 1,296 birds captured and 102 species, 785 (93 species) were with 36-m mesh and 511 (69 species) with 61-mm mesh. The 61-mm mesh improved capture rates only for some larger species; so, in general, 36-mm mesh mist-nets are more appropriate for field work in "cerrado" areas.  (+info)

Taxonomic informatics tools for the electronic Nomenclator Zoologicus. (4/26)

Given the current trends, it seems inevitable that all biological documents will eventually exist in a digital format and be distributed across the internet. New network services and tools need to be developed to increase retrieval rates for documents and to refine data recovery. Biological data have traditionally been well managed using taxonomic principles. As part of a larger initiative to build an array of names-based network services that emulate taxonomic principles for managing biological information, we undertook the digitization of a major taxonomic reference text, Nomenclator Zoologicus. The process involved replicating the text to a high level of fidelity, parsing the content for inclusion within a database, developing tools to enable expert input into the product, and integrating the metadata and factual content within taxonomic network services. The result is a high-quality and freely available web application ( capable of being exploited in an array of biological informatics services.  (+info)

Efficiency of playback for assessing the occurrence of five bird species in Brazilian Atlantic Forest fragments. (5/26)

Playback of bird songs is a useful technique for species detection; however, this method is usually not standardized. We tested playback efficiency for five Atlantic Forest birds (White-browed Warbler Basileuterus leucoblepharus, Giant Antshrike Batara cinerea, Swallow-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia caudata, Whiteshouldered Fire-eye Pyriglena leucoptera and Surucua Trogon Trogon surrucura) for different time of the day, season of the year and species abundance at the Morro Grande Forest Reserve (South-eastern Brazil) and at thirteen forest fragments in a nearby landscape. Vocalizations were broadcasted monthly at sunrise, noon and sunset, during one year. For B. leucoblepharus, C. caudata and T. surrucura, sunrise and noon were more efficient than sunset. Batara cinerea presented higher efficiency from July to October. Playback expanded the favourable period for avifaunal surveys in tropical forest, usually restricted to early morning in the breeding season. The playback was efficient in detecting the presence of all species when the abundance was not too low. But only B. leucoblepharus and T. surrucura showed abundance values significantly related to this efficiency. The present study provided a precise indication of the best daily and seasonal periods and a confidence interval to maximize the efficiency of playback to detect the occurrence of these forest species.  (+info)

An annotated bibliography of C.J. van der Klaauw with notes on the impact of his work. (6/26)

Van der Klaauw was a professor of Descriptive Zoology in the period 1934-1958. This paper presents a concise annotated overview of his publications. In his work three main topics can be recognized: comparative anatomy of the mammalian auditory region, theoretical studies about ecology and ecological morphology, and vertebrate functional morphology. In particular van der Klaauw developed new concepts on functional morphology, based upon a holistic approach. A series of studies in functional morphology of Vertebrates by his students is added. An overview of recent morphological and theoretical studies show that this new approach had a long lasting impact in studies of functional morphology.  (+info)

Movement to curtail animal dissections in zoology curriculum: review of the Indian experience. (7/26)

Animal dissections have been dropped from the curriculum in several developed countries, and virtual laboratories are taking their place, or at least the concept of the "three R's" is becoming accepted. Yet, the scenario in the developing countries in this regard has been dismal. However, recently, a movement has started in India in this area, thanks to the aggressive approach of PfA, I-CARE and InterNICHE, supported by a few zoology educators and policy makers, who joined this movement as freelancers. The aggressive campaigners against animal dissections put up convincing arguments to the orthodox zoology educators and higher education planners with such veracity that the arguments cannot be ignored. The arguments, to be presented in detail at the conference, and the campaign have been rewarded with success such that a few universities and autonomous colleges have revamped their zoology curricula so as to dispense with or reduce animal dissections. The Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India, has been the trendsetter, evolving what is known as the "Bharathidasan University Model". A memorandum from I-CARE and PfA to the University Grants Commission, Government of India, New Delhi, was sent out by the UGC to the universities with a request to consider the points positively. However, there is still a need to bring about an attitudinal change in the zoology educators and higher education planners such that they participate willingly in this endeavour. The role-players at all levels are identified and approached with a language that is understandable to each and are adequately supported by hands-on training in the alternative methods. Ultimately, the responsibility in this regard lies with the educators themselves, since they are the ones who, working in the academic committees that design the curricula, can cut down on the requirement for dissections.  (+info)

The evolution of the animals: introduction to a Linnean tercentenary celebration. (8/26)