BIOSCI/bionet Frequently Asked Questions

Dave Kristofferson kristoff at
Sun Aug 1 03:03:01 EST 1993

	    BIOSCI/bionet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
		      (last revised - 29-JUL-93)

This document describes the general purpose and uses of the
BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups and provides details on how to participate in
these forums.  It is available for anonymous FTP from
[] in pub/BIOSCI/biosci.FAQ.  This document may also be
requested by e-mail to biosci at (use plain English - this is
not a server address).  It is posted the first of each month to the
BIONEWS/bionet.announce newsgroup along with the BIOSCI information
sheet and the list of changes to the newsgroups during the preceding


Common Questions about BIOSCI/bionet usage
*  What is BIOSCI and bionet?
*  What newsgroups are available on BIOSCI/bionet?
*  Who are the discussion leaders for the various newsgroups?
*  Where (and how many times) should I post my messages?
*  How does one post a message?
*  How do I find back issues of BIOSCI postings?
*  Is there a summary of METHODS-AND-REAGENTS postings?
*  What is USENET?
*  How can I get news software at my site?
*  How can I test my news or mail software?
*  How do I request or cancel e-mail subscriptions to BIOSCI newsgroups?
*  How can I get a list of newsgroups or my subscriptions?
*  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?
*  Why have I stopped getting messages?
*  What should I do about mail error messages that come back when I post?
*  How does one start a new BIOSCI newsgroup/mailing list?
*  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?

Common questions posted to BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups
*  How do I report a problem in a biological data base?
*  What about submitting sequence data to GenBank, EMBL, DDBJ or PIR?
*  Please help me find the e-mail address for Dr. ...
*  How can I list my address information in the BIOSCI user directory?
*  What are all of these references to FTP, WAIS, Gopher, and WWW?

Other questions to add to this list???  Please send them to
biosci at  We would also appreciate your sending the
*answer* to the question if possible.  All contributions will be
gratefully acknowledged by including the author's name along with the
answer provided.

	      Common Questions about BIOSCI/bionet usage

What is BIOSCI and bionet?

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.  As of October 1992, 59% of our readers
used USENET news software instead of e-mail.

We provide a summary about USENET further below.  More detailed
information has been collected from the USENET newsgroup
news.announce.newusers and placed in two files in the pub/BIOSCI
directory in the anonymous FTP area on [].
The file "" contains the following articles:

         How to become a USENET site
         USENET Software: History and Sources
         What is Usenet?
         How to Get Information about Networks

The file "usenet.info2" contains

         Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet
         Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
         Hints on writing style for Usenet

Another file in the same directory entitled "" provides
starting information on how to get your site connected to the
Internet.  Any or all of these files may be requested by e-mail to
biosci at

What newsgroups are available on BIOSCI/bionet?

This is the list of the mailing lists and the corresponding USENET
newsgroup names as of 7/93.  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, while the latter may be requested from
biosci at  PLEASE NOTE that the e-mail addresses for
posting to the newsgroups are provided only in the BIOSCI info sheet,

MAILING LIST NAME          USENET Newsgroup Name
-----------------          ---------------------
AGEING                     bionet.molbio.ageing
AGROFORESTRY               bionet.agroforestry
ARABIDOPSIS                bionet.genome.arabidopsis
BIOFORUM                   bionet.general
BIONAUTS                   bionet.users.addresses
BIONEWS **                 bionet.announce
BIO-JOURNALS **            bionet.journals.contents
BIOTHERMOKINETICS          bionet.metabolic-reg
CELL-BIOLOGY               bionet.cellbiol
CHLAMYDOMONAS              bionet.chlamydomonas
CHROMOSOMES                bionet.genome.chromosomes
COMPUTATIONAL-BIOLOGY **   bionet.biology.computational
DROSOPHILA                 bionet.drosophila
EMBL-DATABANK              bionet.molbio.embldatabank
GDB                        bionet.molbio.gdb
GENBANK-BB                 bionet.molbio.genbank
GENETIC-LINKAGE            bionet.molbio.gene-linkage
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
N2-FIXATION                bionet.biology.n2-fixation
PHOTOSYNTHESIS             bionet.photosynthesis
PLANT-BIOLOGY              bionet.plants
POPULATION-BIOLOGY         bionet.population-bio
PROTEIN-ANALYSIS           bionet.molbio.proteins
PROTEIN-CRYSTALLOGRAPHY    bionet.xtallography
RAPD                       bionet.molbio.rapd
SCIENCE-RESOURCES **       bionet.sci-resources
TROPICAL-BIOLOGY           bionet.biology.tropical
VIROLOGY                   bionet.virology
WOMEN-IN-BIOLOGY           bionet.women-in-bio
YEAST                      bionet.molbio.yeast


** 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.

--------------               -----
ACEDB-SOFT                   Discussions by users and developers of genome
                                databases using the ACEDB software.
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
BIOTHERMOKINETICS            Discussions about the kinetics, thermodynamics
                                and control of biological processes at
                                the cellular level
CELL-BIOLOGY                 Discussions about cell biology including

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