Monday, 24 August 2009

ebook of life keeps on growing

An online encyclopedia aiming to describe every type of animal and plant on the planet has reached 170,000 entries and is helping research into ageing, climate change and even the spread of insect pests. The Encyclopedia of Life a project launched in 2007 says it wants to describe all the 1.8 million known species – from apples to zebras – within a decade. “We’re picking up speed,” James Edwards, the EOL executive director based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, said yesterday of the 170,000 entries with content in a common format vetted by experts. A year ago, it had 30,000 entries. He said everyone from scientists to schoolchildren could use the EOL as a “field guide” or contribute a photograph or an observation of an animal. More details here