Bioinformatics: The Master List and Virtual Museum

By Pw | Whole Earth, Fall 2000 | Go to article overview

Bioinformatics: The Master List and Virtual Museum


Pw, Whole Earth


With the generous assistance of Tony Burgess

Volumes of species data and knowledge swirl in the heads of aging taxonomists and naturalists, with no place to settle. Data sit in about 10,000 paper publications, only a fraction of which can be found in libraries. Species info is starting to circulate on CD-ROMs, but most CD-ROMs and online services only carry species information collected since 1970. The grand days of natural history have no vivid presence except to those who snoop in dusty drawers and special collections. Can the books, journals, directories, databases, field and lab notebooks be harmonized? Can the babble of field guides, floras, faunas, ID keys, and monographs be coordinated (or, at least, networked)? Can collections be cataloged so that anyone can find where the specimens reside?

Bioinformatics--the gathering, manipulation, classification, storage, and retrieval of recorded knowledge about life--plays the twin to discovery/description in the all species inventory Here are the tasks:

* Digitize the Master List of Species Names

Noah's checklist for the ark requires an unprecedented combined effort by digital technologists and planetary ecologists. We might be adding 28 million to 90 million new names. Standards for which species names are acceptable will hasten the completion of the Master List.

* Digitize and Link Existing Taxonomy Collections, Species Names, and Natural Histories

Linking new and old archives will create the virtual museum of Earth. Even fossils could eventually be included. Specimens will be locatable, and images could allow taxonomists to save on air fare. Who has custodianship of these huge databases is the challenge.

* Link GPS, GIS Grids, and Maps

After "What did you see?" natural history's question is "Where did you see it"? The data come from field notes and museum labels. Researchers dream of a master GIS grid library where every finder of new species could locate what he/she saw and then link the information to local grids.

* Link Molecular Databases to Species Descriptions

There are no electronic linkages between molecular databases of "species" and their names and descriptions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bioinformatics: The Master List and Virtual Museum
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.