Dave Kristofferson kristoff at NET.BIO.NET
Tue Dec 22 15:57:47 EST 1992

Newsgroups: bionet.announce
From: Dave Kristofferson <kristoff at net.bio.net>
Subject: Bionet (BIOSCI) FAQ II (usage and technical issues)
Approved: bionews-moderator at net.bio.net

	  BIOSCI/bionet Frequently Asked Questions II (FAQ)
		      (last revised - 12/22/92)

This is the second of two BIOSCI/bionet FAQs.  FAQ I describes the
general purpose and uses of the BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups.  FAQ II
provides details on how to participate in these forums.  Both of these
FAQs are available for anonymous FTP from net.bio.net []
in pub/BIOSCI/biosci1.FAQ and pub/BIOSCI/biosci2.FAQ, the latter being
this article.  They may also be requested by e-mail to
biosci at net.bio.net.

*  What is BIOSCI and bionet?
*  What newsgroups are available on BIOSCI/bionet?
*  What is USENET?
*  How can I get news software at my site?
*  How do I request or cancel e-mail subscriptions to BIOSCI newsgroups?
*  Why are BIOSCI e-mail subscription requests not processed by machine?
*  Why are there two BIOSCI sites?
*  How does one know to which newsgroup a message was posted?
*  What is the "BIOSCI-REQUEST" address?
*  How does one post a message?
*  How can I get a list of newsgroups or my subscriptions?
*  Why have I stopped getting messages?
*  I posted a message and got back an error message from a daemon!!
*  Where (and how many times) should I post my messages?
*  How do I find back issues of BIOSCI postings?
*  Is there a summary of METHODS-AND-REAGENTS postings?
*  How does one start a new BIOSCI newsgroup/mailing list?
*  Who are the discussion leaders for the various newsgroups?
*  What journals are available on BIO-JOURNALS?  How can one locate articles?
*  Why didn't my USENET posting show up elsewhere?
*  Why are my messages are going to bionet.followup?

What is BIOSCI and bionet?

Please see biosci1.FAQ mentioned above for more details.  We briefly
recap our purpose here:

We'll spare you the fascinating historical details and say simply that
BIOSCI is a series of freely accessible electronic communication
forums (i.e., electronic bulletin boards or "newsgroups") for use by
biological scientists worldwide.  No fees are charged for the service.
The system is intended to promote communication between professionals
in the biological sciences.  All postings to the newsgroups should be
made in that spirit.  BIOSCI messages are distributed without
editorial intervention in most cases.  Dissemination is by normal
electronic mail and also over USENET in the form of the "bionet"
newsgroups (see below for USENET details).  The contents of the
electronic mail distribution is identical to the USENET news
distribution, but we encourage BIOSCI users to access the system
through USENET news software whenever possible.  E-mail distributions
may eventually be phased out.

What newsgroups are available on BIOSCI/bionet?

This is the list of the mailing lists and the corresponding USENET
newsgroup names as of 12/92.  A posting of the latest list of
newsgroups and other information about subscribing/unsubscribing,
etc., to BIOSCI (the "BIOSCI info sheet") is posted the first of each
month on the BIONEWS/bionet.announce newsgroup along with this FAQ
posting.  Two versions of the BIOSCI info sheet are available, one for
the Americas and the Pacific Rim countries, and the second for Europe,
Africa, and Central Asia.  The former may be requested by e-mail to
biosci at net.bio.net, while the latter may be requested from
biosci at daresbury.ac.uk.

NEWSGROUP NAME             USENET Newsgroup Name
--------------             ---------------------
AGEING                     bionet.molbio.ageing
AGROFORESTRY               bionet.agroforestry
ARABIDOPSIS                bionet.genome.arabidopsis
BIOFORUM                   bionet.general
BIO-INFORMATION-THEORY +   bionet.info-theory
BIONAUTS                   bionet.users.addresses
BIONEWS **                 bionet.announce
BIO-JOURNALS               bionet.journals.contents
BIO-MATRIX                 bionet.molbio.bio-matrix
BIO-SOFTWARE               bionet.software
CHROMOSOME-22              bionet.genome.chrom22
COMPUTATIONAL-BIOLOGY **   bionet.biology.computational
EMBL-DATABANK              bionet.molbio.embldatabank
EMPLOYMENT                 bionet.jobs
GDB                        bionet.molbio.gdb
GENBANK-BB                 bionet.molbio.genbank
GENETIC-LINKAGE            bionet.molbio.gene-linkage
HIV-MOLECULAR-BIOLOGY      bionet.molbio.hiv
HUMAN-GENOME-PROGRAM       bionet.molbio.genome-program
IMMUNOLOGY                 bionet.immunology
JOURNAL-NOTES              bionet.journals.note
METHODS-AND-REAGENTS       bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts
MOLECULAR-EVOLUTION        bionet.molbio.evolution
NEUROSCIENCE               bionet.neuroscience
PLANT-BIOLOGY              bionet.plants
POPULATION-BIOLOGY         bionet.population-bio
PROTEIN-ANALYSIS           bionet.molbio.proteins
PROTEIN-CRYSTALLOGRAPHY    bionet.xtallography
SCIENCE-RESOURCES          bionet.sci-resources
TROPICAL-BIOLOGY           bionet.biology.tropical
VIROLOGY                   bionet.virology
WOMEN-IN-BIOLOGY           bionet.women-in-bio


** Note that newsgroups flagged with ** are moderated, i.e., postings
are directed to a moderator (editor) who later forwards messages
(possibly edited or condensed) to the newsgroup.

--------------               -----
AGEING                       Discussions about ageing research
AGROFORESTRY                 Discussions about agroforestry research
ARABIDOPSIS                  Newsgroup for the Arabidopsis Genome Project
BIOFORUM                     Discussions about biological topics for
                                which there is not yet a dedicated newsgroup
  THEORY-AND-CHOWDER-SOCIETY Applications of information theory to biology
BIONAUTS                     Question/answer forum for help using
                                electronic networks, locating e-mail
                                addresses, etc.
BIONEWS **                   General announcements of widespread
                                interest to biologists
BIO-JOURNALS                 Tables of Contents of biological journals
BIO-MATRIX                   Applications of computers to biological databases
BIO-SOFTWARE                 Information on software for the biological
CHROMOSOME-22                Mapping and Sequencing of Human Chromosome 22
COMPUTATIONAL-BIOLOGY **     Mathematical and computer applications in biology
EMBL-DATABANK                Messages to and from the EMBL database staff
EMPLOYMENT                   Job opportunities
GDB                          Messages to and from the Genome Data Bank staff
GENBANK-BB                   Messages to and from the GenBank database staff
GENETIC-LINKAGE              Newsgroup for genetic linkage analysis
HIV-MOLECULAR-BIOLOGY        Discussions about the molecular biology of HIV
HUMAN-GENOME-PROGRAM         NIH-sponsored newsgroup on human genome issues
IMMUNOLOGY                   Discussions about research in immunology
JOURNAL-NOTES                Practical advice on dealing with professional 
METHODS-AND-REAGENTS         Requests for information and lab reagents
MOLECULAR-EVOLUTION          Discussions about research in molecular evolution
NEUROSCIENCE                 Discussions about research in the neurosciences
PLANT-BIOLOGY                Discussions about research in plant biology
POPULATION-BIOLOGY           Discussions about research in population biology
PROTEIN-ANALYSIS             Discussions about research on proteins and
                                messages for the PIR and SWISS-PROT databank
PROTEIN-CRYSTALLOGRAPHY      Discussion about crystallography of macromolecules
                                and messages for the PDB staff
SCIENCE-RESOURCES            Information from/about scientific funding
TROPICAL-BIOLOGY             Discussions about research in tropical biology
VIROLOGY                     Discussions about research in virology
WOMEN-IN-BIOLOGY             Discussions about issues concerning women

** Note that newsgroups flagged with ** are moderated, i.e., postings
are directed to a moderator (editor) who later forwards messages
(possibly edited or condensed) to the newsgroup.

What is USENET?

USENET (short for Users Network) is an electronic bulletin board
network which utilizes various public domain versions of the "netnews"
software for message transmission.  The software can operate over
physical networks ranging from as simple as a telephone UUCP link (via
modem) to networks as sophisticated as the Internet.  Netnews has been
optimized to tranmit messages without loss and also to avoid possible
mail loops and other errors which plague simple electronic mail
"broadcasting."  It is for this reason that we strongly encourage our
users to adopt netnews software at their sites as soon as possible.
News software also keeps messages segregated into their respective
newsgroups, making it easier to follow the thread of a discussion.  If
you only use e-mail, messages from all of the newsgroups to which you
subscribe will be sent to your one personal e-mail address and will be
mixed in with each other and with your other personal messages.  This
is obviously a suboptimal means of organizing messages.

How can I get news software at my site?

Contact biosci at net.bio.net for information on getting started with
USENET.  News software can be obtained free of charge from anonymous
FTP sources.

How do I request or cancel e-mail subscriptions to BIOSCI newsgroups?

If you have access to USENET news software, then YOU DO NOT NEED AN
E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION!  Only those people who need to receive postings
by e-mail must request to be added to the mailing lists.  USENET users
can simply read the various bionet newsgroups using their news
software.  If your site has USENET news but does not get the bionet
newsgroups, please request help by sending a message to
biosci at net.bio.net.

For those who need e-mail subscriptions or who want to cancel current
e-mail subscriptions, please send a request to one of the following
addresses.  Please choose the site that serves your location.  Simply
pick the newsgroup(s) from the list above that you wish to subscribe
to and request that your address be added to the chosen mailing lists.
Please use plain English; no special message syntax is required in
your subscription or cancellation request.

Address                               Serving
-------                               -------
biosci at net.bio.net                    The Americas and Pacific Rim
biosci at daresbury.ac.uk                Europe, Africa, and Central Asia

****If you are changing e-mail addresses****, please be sure to send a
message to your appropriate biosci address above and request that your
subscriptions be changed or canceled!!

Why are BIOSCI e-mail subscription requests not processed by machine?

To date the daily volume of BIOSCI subscription requests is small and
can typically be handled in under 15 minutes a day.  We have preferred
to handle requests through the use of semi-automated scripts at the
two BIOSCI distribution nodes instead of requiring our readers to
learn a special syntax for processing subscriptions automatically.
Use of the newsgroups is rapidly growing, however, so we are taking
steps to provide automated subscription handling in the future.

Why are there two BIOSCI sites?

Originally there were *four* BIOSCI distribution sites (nodes), but
due to administrative complexities, the number of nodes was scaled
back to two.  Although 99% of you never have to pay for any BIOSCI
messages, rest assured that network resources are not free and should
not be squandered.  We established BIOSCI distribution sites on each
side of the Atlantic to minimize network e-mail traffic.  For example,
if a message is posted to the U.S. site, only one copy is sent on to
the U.K. site **via netnews software, not by mail** before being
"exploded" for mail distribution to all of the final e-mail
destinations on the "other side of the pond."  This is more efficient
than sending hundreds of copies of the same message across the
Atlantic.  A trade-off for this efficiency is slightly increased
complexity in the distribution network, i.e., the mailing lists for
each newsgroup are split between two sites.  In the past BIOSCI
experienced sporadic problems with "bounced" mail, but the reduction
in the number of BIOSCI distribution sites and the implementation of
U.S. to U.K. message transfer via news rather than by e-mail has
eliminated this problem.  Everyone would be better served if USENET
news was used exclusively, and we have the eventual elimination of
e-mail subscriptions as a **long term** goal.  Currently, however, too
many biologists still have no other means of access to BIOSCI other
than through e-mail.

How does one know to which newsgroup a message was posted?

If you use USENET news software, all messages are sorted by newsgroup
so there is no problem identifying the source.  If you receive BIOSCI
postings in your mail file, all postings are funneled into your one
mail file and you must be a little discerning.

The best way to determine the news forum is to look at the line in the
mail header that starts with "To:".  For example, if you see "To:
arab-gen at net.bio.net" or "To: arab-gen at daresbury.ac.uk" then you know
that the address for sending a reply to everyone on the newsgroup is
"arab-gen at net.bio.net" or "arab-gen at daresbury.ac.uk."  The "From:"
line in the mail header indicates who sent the message.  If you want
to reply only to the author of the message, use the address on the
"From:" line.  If you want to reply to everyone on the newsgroup, use
the address on the "To:" line.

Please note that replies to BIOSCI messages are *not* automatically
sent back to the newsgroup address.  The default reply will be (in
most cases, your local mail configuration might alter this) to the
address that you see on the "From:" line, i.e., only to the person who
posted the original message.  You must consciously decide to send a
copy of your reply to the newsgroup by including the newsgroup posting
address in your e-mail response.  This default reply (to the original
sender only) is an Internet newsgroup standard and is the opposite of
that used by the BITNET LISTSERV software (for those who may be
familiar with the latter; the Internet standard is designed to
minimize wasted network bandwidth, i.e., to avoid the *automatic,
unthinking* posting by many people of the same answer to a particular

What is the "BIOSCI-REQUEST" address?

The BIOSCI-REQUEST at net.bio.net address was established to trap mailing
error messages ("bouncers").  The address is not normally seen by
BIOSCI readers in the messages that they receive.  Unfortunately some
proprietary (read "VMS") and other oddball mail systems misread the
information used to transmit Internet e-mail messages and may end up
putting the BIOSCI-REQUEST address on the From: line in the mail that
you may receive.  If this happens at your site and you want to reply
to a message, please use either the newsgroup address on the To: line
of the message or try to find the author's e-mail address elsewhere in
the message (people often append this at the end of their text in
their "signature").  If you send a message back to
BIOSCI-REQUEST at net.bio.net, the BIOSCI managers at net.bio.net will be
the only ones who will see it (we will try to forward it to the
appropriate newsgroup, but would appreciate it if you would determine
the correct address yourself first).

How does one post a message?

If you use USENET, run your posting program (e.g., postnews, please
check with your local systems administrator) and follow the prompts.
Enter the appropriate newsgroup from the list of USENET names (above)
when prompted.  Be sure to set your news distribution to "world" (or
"bionet" if the option is available) if you want your message to be
seen by others.  Some USENET systems may default to "local" which
means that only people on your local computer will see the message.
You can limit the extent of distribution of your message by choosing
other distribution options, e.g., "usa" distributes only to the U.S.A.
Usually pressing "?" or "h" at the Distribution: prompt will show you
your options.

If you are using e-mail, first select the newsgroup that you wish to
post to from the list above and find the mailing address.  The latest
list of mailing addresses is found in the BIOSCI info sheet for your
region.  For example, to post to BIO-SOFTWARE you would use one of the
following two addresses depending upon your location:

Address                               Serving
-------                               -------
bio-soft at net.bio.net                  The Americas and Pacific Rim
bio-soft at daresbury.ac.uk              Europe, Africa, and Central Asia

How can I get a list of newsgroups or my subscriptions?

As with any other subscription correspondence, simply send a request
to your appropriate BIOSCI distribution site:

Address                               Serving
-------                               -------
biosci at net.bio.net                    The Americas and Pacific Rim
biosci at daresbury.ac.uk                Europe, Africa, and Central Asia

The most recent list of BIOSCI newsgroups/mailing addresses and the
latest revisions of the BIOSCI/bionet FAQs are posted the first of
each month on the BIONEWS/bionet.announce newsgroup.  You should save
these postings for future reference.

Why have I stopped getting messages?

If your computer or network connection is down, mail sent to your
address will "bounce" back to the sender of the message and often to
the BIOSCI-REQUEST address at net.bio.net.  Given the number of people
using BIOSCI around the world, this can become quite a problem, so we
have to take prompt action to eliminate troublesome addresses from our
mailing lists.  Offending addresses are "commented out" of the mailing
lists.  If your system is down, there may be no way to reach you, so
it is your responsibility to contact your BIOSCI distribution site and
request reinstatement if you notice a lapse in distribution.  There is
an automatic reminder system at net.bio.net in the U.S. that sends a
message to all "commented out" addresses on the mailing lists at
net.bio.net each Monday for three weeks. After that if no response is
received to biosci at net.bio.net, the bad addresses are completely
removed from the mailing lists.

I posted a message and got back an error message from a daemon!!

Don't panic!!  The devil is not in the employ of BIOSCI!  It is a rare
day when every single computer and e-mail address in the world is
functional.  Mail systems are programmed to alert you if mail does not
go through to a particular address which could be on any of our BIOSCI
lists.  Rest assured that your message was received by the *vast
majority* of readers.  You may either just delete these "bouncers" or
send them on to your local BIOSCI distribution node (in most cases we
will probably be aware of them already).  It is not uncommon to
receive one or two bouncers for any e-mail posting that you make.
Note once again that if everyone used news software and if we didn't
have to bridge so many incompatible e-mail networks to bring the
biology community together, we wouldn't have to deal with this

Note that the BIOSCI-REQUEST address at net.bio.net was established to
trap daemon bouncers instead of passing them back to the person who
posts a message.  Unfortunately due to network incompatibilities, the
BIOSCI-REQUEST trapping mechanism is often disabled when the bad
address is not on the Internet.

Where (and how many times) should I post my messages?

The list of newsgroups above gives a brief description of the purpose
of each newsgroup.  Please select the appropriate forum for your
posting with the newsgroup's purpose in mind.  The groups designated
as "Scientific Interest Group" are for discussions of professional
interest in the area designated by the newsgroup name, i.e.,
population biology issues should obviously be directed to the

Generally only one copy of a message should be posted to the most
appropriate forum.  Crossposting the same message to multiple
newsgroups can aggravate readers who participate by e-mail.  These
people will receive mulitple copies of a message if they are on the
mailing lists for the groups that receive the crosspostings.

A few guidelines on some of the other newsgroups:

BIONAUTS/bionet.users.addresses: This newsgroup was designed to help
biologists "voyaging" into the new world of electronic networking.
This is also the appropriate forum for requesting electronic mail
addresses of other biologists (no guarantees they'll respond
personally, of course, but someone else might; e-mail directory
services still leave much to be desired).  In addition, this forum can
be used for asking questions if you need any help with mail and news
software or other aspects of electronic networking, e.g. "What is
WAIS, gopher, and all of these other newfangled things that I have
been hearing about?" (see the other BIOSCI/bionet FAQ for answers to
this last question!).

BIONEWS/bionet.announce: This is a moderated newsgroup designed to be
low-volume, high content and intended primarily for announcements of
interest to most users on the network, e.g., for general announcements
such as for scientific meetings, courses, etc.

BIOFORUM/bionet.general: BIOFORUM is intended for discussions on
topics that do not fit in to any of the specialty newsgroups.  If you
want to start a new newsgroup, you might begin by trying to raise
interest by opening up a discussion in this forum.

BIO-JOURNALS/bionet.journals.contents: This newsgroup is not for
postings by readers.  It is used to distribute the Table of Contents
for the following journals approximately a week or two in advance of

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
EMBO Journal
Journal of Bacteriology
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Journal of Virology
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Molecular Microbiology
Nucleic Acids Research

BIO-SOFTWARE: Intended for discussions about software in the
biological sciences.  There are other USENET newsgroups and mailing
lists for questions about word processors, etc., i.e., for general
purpose software.  BIO-SOFTWARE is intended for discussions about
software for biologists.  For USENET users only, please note that
there is an accompanying newsgroup bionet.software.sources used for
distributing biological software source code and binaries.  This
service is *not* available by e-mail.

COMPUTATIONAL-BIOLOGY: This newsgroup is moderated, i.e., postings
made to the group are reviewed by a moderator before being
distributed.  You can post messages without editorial intervention to
other BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups.

EMPLOYMENT: Because of network regulations (many of our distribution
routes are subsidized at taxpayer expense) commercial job postings are
currently NOT ALLOWED on this newsgroup.  Please post only non-profit
jobs in the biological sciences.

SCIENCE-RESOURCES: This newgroup is used solely to distribute funding
agency announcements such as the "NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts"
and is not to be used for postings by readers.

Most other BIOSCI newsgroups are dedicated to professional discussions
in the area defined by the name of the newsgroup.  You are free to
post anything of interest within the specialty served by the
newsgroup.  Please note that the lack of face-to-face contact often
emboldens some of our readers.  While we can wish that everyone
learned manners in grade school or at home, please be aware that
discussions can sometimes become a bit more heated than a new user
might be accustomed to (our readership is usually composed of "sober"
Ph.D.s, or so I used to think 8-).  

NOTE: To understand what 8-) means tilt your head to the left; other
variants: :-) and :-(.  These symbols try to add emotional conotations
to the electrons such as "that's a joke, son!"

How do I find back issues of BIOSCI postings?

The BIOSCI node at net.bio.net maintains the entire collection of
BIOSCI/bionet messages.  They are available via WAIS (biosci.src and
biology-journal-contents.src) and anonymous ftp from net.bio.net
[].  Gopher retrieval will also be available soon.
Contact biosci at net.bio.net for further help.  If you do not have WAIS
software running locally, but do have access to the Internet, try

telnet quake.think.com

and login in as "wais" to experiment with the software.  Both of our
WAIS sources, biosci.src and biology-journal-contents.src, may be
selected from the menu for searching.

All the Bionet newsgroup postings since December 1991 are also stored
in an anonymous ftp archive at ftp.bio.indiana.edu, in the directory
usenet/bionet and are also available at this site (IUBIO archive) for
Gopher searching and retrieval.

Is there a summary of METHODS-AND-REAGENTS postings?

Yes.  A FAQ for the METHODS newsgroup was created by Paul Hengen of
Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center.  It can be obtained
via anaoymous FTP from net.bio.net in
pub/BIOSCI/METHDS-REAGNTS/METHODS.FAQ or from ncifcrf.gov in

Note, however, that maintaining such a FAQ is a gargantuan task.  We
also recommend searching the METHODS archives for keywords through the
use of the WAIS and Gopher software as described in the "archives"
question above.

How does one start a new BIOSCI newsgroup/mailing list?

BIOSCI's goal is to promote the use of electronic coomunications among
biologists and we are here to assist you in establishing new forums at
no charge.  There are currently two options - create a full newsgroup
or a prototype (mailing lists only):

For full-fledged BIOSCI newsgroup status:

Proposals for new groups must contain a statement of purpose for the
group and the name of a person designated as discussion leader unless
the group is in the service category such as METHODS, EMPLOYMENT, etc.
Discussion leaders are responsible for ensuring that a reasonable
level of activity is sustained on the newsgroup (see Newsgroup
Termination Policy below).  The discussion leader can also propose the
creation of moderated newsgroups if he/she agrees to serve as
moderator (this requires access to USENET news software at the
moderator's site).  Proposals should be sent to biosci at net.bio.net.

When a proposal is received it will be posted on
BIONEWS/bionet.announce.  A ten day period for discussion on
BIOFORUM/bionet.general will follow and precede the call for votes.
After the discussion, the person proposing the newsgroup may modify or
withdraw the proposal prior to the call for votes.  The modified
proposal will then be included in a call for votes on
BIONEWS/bionet.announce.  The proposal must collect 80 YES votes in 30
days and the number of YES votes must exceed the number of NO votes by
at least 40 to pass.

BIOSCI management must be informed in advance of any intended efforts
to advertise the newsgroup proposal in other forums.  While BIOSCI
wishes to inform potential users of the creation of newsgroups that
might be of interest to them, promotional efforts should be focussed
in forums likely to be utilized by professionals in the subject area
covered by the newsgroup proposal, and should seek participation in
the discussion of the proposal within bionet.general/BIOFORUM rather
than promoting separate discussions in other forums to which portions
of the BIOSCI readership may not have ready access.

If a proposal is not passed by the readers, there will be a three
month period before it can be brought up for another vote.

Newsgroup Termination Policy

Any group with less than 52 msgs in the previous calendar year will be
put on notice by posting an announcement to the newsgroup (not to
bionet.announce) that it faces cancellation.  It can be reprieved if
80 readers respond within two weeks (this policy will be stated in the
termination announcement).  It then has two months to reach a usage
level of one message per 3 days or else it will be abolished.  Appeals
to the BIOSCI management about high content albeit low volume on the
group will be considered.

BIOSCI "prototype" newsgroup creation policy

We will be happy to establish and administer a straight *mailing* list
*without* an associated USENET newsgroup for a six month trial period
for anyone that wants to try to form a new electronic community in the
biological sciences (We stress that the topics are limited to
professional communications though.).

The mailing lists will be maintained *initially* only at net.bio.net
instead of at both BIOSCI sites, and will not be added to the BIOSCI
information sheet listing.  It will be the responsibility of the
person who proposes the list to get it up and running within the six
month period.  They will have to handle promotion; our involvement at
BIOSCI at net.bio.net will be limited to creating the list, putting
out one announcement about it, and handling subscription requests.

After six months, the list will be put out for discussion and a vote
according to our procedures for full-fledged newsgroups above (unless
the organizer decides to bow out).  If it passes it will become a
full-fledged BIOSCI newsgroup at both net.bio.net and daresbury.ac.uk
and will also have a parallel USENET newsgroup.  If it fails, the
prototype mailing list at net.bio.net will be shut down.

Note that this service does not preclude people who have an idea that
has widespread appeal from following our current newsgroup creation
policy and going to a vote after a 10 day discussion.

If you have an idea for a prototype newsgroup, please send it to
biosci at net.bio.net.

Who are the discussion leaders for the various newsgroups?

Most scientific specialty newsgroups (except for a few created several
years ago) have individuals who are responsible for stimulating
discussion on the newsgroup.  General purpose forums such as
METHODS-AND-REAGENTS do not have discussion leaders.  If a group that
you are interested in does not seem to have much activity recently,
please contact the discussion leader and ask why 8-).

NEWSGROUP NAME               Discussion Leader and their e-mail address
--------------               ------------------------------------------
AGEING                       Sydney Shall (bafa1 at central.sussex.ac.uk)
AGROFORESTRY                 Gerry Lawson (F_GJL at vaxa.nerc-bush.ac.uk)
ARABIDOPSIS                  Chris Somerville (21847CRS at msu.edu)
BIOFORUM                     None
  THEORY-AND-CHOWDER-SOCIETY Tom Schneider (toms at ncifcrf.gov)
BIONAUTS                     Rob Harper (harper at convex.csc.fi)
BIONEWS **                   David Kristofferson (kristoff at net.bio.net)
BIO-JOURNALS                 David Kristofferson (kristoff at net.bio.net)
BIO-MATRIX                   Dan Davison (davison at uh.edu)
BIO-SOFTWARE                 None
CHROMOSOME-22                Robert L. Nussbaum (nussbaum at a1.mscf.upenn.edu)
COMPUTATIONAL-BIOLOGY **     Phil J. Curtiss (curtiss at umiacs.umd.edu)
EMBL-DATABANK                None (datalib at embl-heidelberg.de)
EMPLOYMENT                   None
GDB                          Kerryn Brandt (kab at welchgate.welch.jhu.edu)
GENBANK-BB                   Dennis Benson (benson at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
GENETIC-LINKAGE              Steve Bryant (s_bryant at icrf.ac.uk)
HIV-MOLECULAR-BIOLOGY        Mika Salminen (msalminen at nphi.fi)
HUMAN-GENOME-PROGRAM         Jane Peterson (jp2 at cu.nih.gov)
IMMUNOLOGY                   Donald Forsdyke (forsdyke at qucdn.queensu.ca)
JOURNAL-NOTES                Donald Forsdyke (forsdyke at qucdn.queensu.ca)
MOLECULAR-EVOLUTION          Dan Davison (davison at uh.edu)
NEUROSCIENCE                 Vincent A Mazzarella (vamg6792 at uxa.cso.uiuc.edu)
PLANT-BIOLOGY                Tony Travis (ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk)
PROTEIN-ANALYSIS             Amos Bairoch (BAIROCH at cmu.unige.ch) and
                             John Garavelli (garavelli at nbrf.georgetown.edu)
PROTEIN-CRYSTALLOGRAPHY      Morten Kjeldgaard (morten at oase.kemi.aau.dk)
SCIENCE-RESOURCES            David Kristofferson (kristoff at net.bio.net)
TROPICAL-BIOLOGY             Matti Nummelin (saarikko at cc.helsinki.fi)
VIROLOGY                     Robert Coelen (robert at arbo.microbiol.uwa.oz.au)
WOMEN-IN-BIOLOGY             Cassandra Smith (cls at buenga.bu.edu)

What journals are available on BIO-JOURNALS?  How can one locate articles?

The following journals appear regularly.  This list will be expanded
in 1993.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
EMBO Journal
Journal of Bacteriology
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Journal of Virology
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Molecular Microbiology
Nucleic Acids Research

Table of Contents for the journals above are available for FTP from
net.bio.net in pub/BIOSCI/BIO-JOURNALS.  One can use the WAIS source
biology-journal-contents.src at net.bio.net to retrieve individual
article references from the journals above.  If you do not have WAIS
software running locally, but do have access to the Internet, try

telnet quake.think.com

and login in as "wais" to experiment with the software.  Both of our
WAIS sources, biosci.src and biology-journal-contents.src, may be
selected from the menu for searching.

Why didn't my USENET posting show up elsewhere?

Your local USENET software may have defaulted to "local" distribution.
If this option is selected, only other readers of the bionet
newsgroups on your local computer will see your posting.  If you want
your message to be delivered to all BIOSCI/bionet readers, please be
sure to specify "world" or "bionet" when prompted for the
Distribution:.  Generally, if you press "?" or "h" when prompted, you
will see your options for controlling the distribution of your
messages on USENET.  If your message does not reach one of the two
BIOSCI nodes in the U.S. or the U.K. it will not be distributed to
people who participate in BIOSCI by e-mail.

Why are my messages are going to bionet.followup?

This is a problem that might plague users of older versions of the
"rn" newsreading program when they try to reply to messages on
BIOFORUM/bionet.general.  bionet.followup is a non-existant newsgroup.
In the "good old days" there was a newsgroup called "net.general" and
replies to net.general were posted to "net.followup."  Unfortunately
the USENET name of the BIOFORUM newsgroup, bionet.general, contains
the text "net.general" as a subset.  Older versions of news software
can latch on to this text string and redirect replies to
bionet.general messages to bionet.followup.  If you are plagued by
this problem, please call the following fixes, provided by Roy Smith
and Wayne Rindone, to the attention of your local systems manager:

The problem is indeed in the rn sources, specifically in intrp.c.  In
the version I have (intrp.c,v 90/12/31 11:47:44 sob Exp),
It's the following code at lines 664-670:

			if (h = instr(s,"net.general")) {
			    off = h-s;
			    s = scrbuf;

	What's going on is that there used to be the convention that
followups to articles in the newsgroup net.general (which doesn't
exist anymore and hasn't for something like 5 years) should be placed
in net.followup.  For better or for worse, the rn code attempted to
enforce this convention.  What's going on in the above code is that
the string "net.general" in the Newsgroups line of an article being
follow-ed-up to gets changed to "net.followup".  Unfortunately, that
means "bionet.general" gets changed to "bionet.followup".  I would
suggest simply deleting the above code entirely.  I'm not even sure
why it's still there, other than nobody bothered to take it out, and
until bionet.general came around, it never bit anybody.

	Old code never dies.  It simply gets integrated into the host
genome of the program it's part of waiting for the right environmental
conditions to appear.

roy at alanine.phri.nyu.edu (Roy Smith)
Public Health Research Institute
455 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA
"Arcane?  Did you say arcane?  It wouldn't be Unix if it wasn't arcane!"

From: Wayne Rindone <wrindone at BBN.COM>
Subject:  Another source of bionet.followup problem

     Thought you might like to know that there are other potential
reasons for the appearance of the bogus bionet.followup group name. A
couple of months ago, I installed rn 4.4 on my workstation, expecting
that to fix the bionet.followup problem, among other things. I was
very surprised to discover that I still had bionet.followup appearing,
even though it was quite clear there was nothing in the new rn sources
to account for that.

     It turned out that the following lines were included in

case $ng in
    follow=`echo "$ng" | sed 's/net\.general/net.followup/g'`

     Once these were removed the problem disappeared. I have no idea
if this logic was created locally at BBN or not, or if it came from
elsewhere or had wider dissemination beyond BBN. Although the problem
is solved for me, I have a bad feeling that it will turn up many
places around the world for many years to come.

     Feel free to mention Pnews.header as another potential source of
the problem the next time someone asks if you think that helpful.

				Wayne Rindone, BBN

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