Bionet (BIOSCI) FAQ II (usage and technical issues)

Dave Kristofferson kristoff at
Fri Jan 1 04:04:01 EST 1993

	  BIOSCI/bionet Frequently Asked Questions II (FAQ)
		      (last revised - 12/30/92)

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 []
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

*  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, while the latter may be requested from
biosci at

NEWSGROUP 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
CHROMOSOME-22              bionet.genome.chrom22
COMPUTATIONAL-BIOLOGY **   bionet.biology.computational
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
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 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

For those who need e-mail subsc

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