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Online reference book for biological topics

Ines Chyla

Genome Biology 2000, 1:reports207  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-1-reports207

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:19 October 1999
Published:17 March 2000

© 2000 BioMed Central Ltd


This comprehensive online biology reference book consists of lists of terms covering an extensive range of biological topics, and is aimed primarily at graduate students. Many of the terms are linked to more in-depth discussions. The homepage has a section called 'background to biology news', which lists the latest discoveries in the biological sciences accompanied by links to background information. The site might therefore be of special use to researchers requiring background information in fields outside their area of expertise.


Navigating around the site is very easy. A link at the bottom of every page returns the visitor to the 'welcome' page. Each alphabetized index/glossary page has an alphabetical listing, at its top, which can be used to search for the next term or item. There is also a 'frames' version, which has a permanent clickable alphabet at the top of each page.

Reporter's comments


The site is updated regularly, and most recently on 17 October 1999.

Best feature

The 'how to navigate' section on the 'welcome' page explains how the site is structured and how it can best be navigated. It even introduces browser functions that can be used to search the site.

Wish list

External links to expand on the information given here would be useful.

Related websites

Cornell University provides a site devoted to The logic of molecular approaches to biological problems.

Table of links

Assumptions made about all sites unless otherwise specified:
The site is free, in English and no registration is required. It is relatively quick to download, can be navigated by an 'intermediate' user, and no problems with connection were found. The site does not stipulate that any particular browser be used and no special software/plug-ins are required to view the site. There are relatively few gratuitous images and each page has its own URL, allowing it to be bookmarked.