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About a year ago Anno Faubel of the University of Hamburg, Germany, posted a PDF document on his website, entitled 'Monograph of the Macrostomida and Haplopharyngida (Plathelminthes: Rhabditophora)'. This document offers the most comprehensive literature collection on the Macrostomorpha since Ferguson's monograph in 1954. Moreover, it gives a detailed introduction to the morphology and ecology of these animals, and a list of the described species.
An invaluable source of information about the usage of the scatchpads is the official website of the EDIT sctatchpads, which you can find at http://scratchpads.eu.
The site has a collection of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), and other useful information, such as the Scratchpad Training Files, which include the documentation used during the Scratchpad Training Courses.
The software running the scratchpads was updated in autumn 2009 and it has improved a number of things:
- the image galleries now sort images by file name, which means that date-stamped image files are displayed in the correct order; this may eventually allow to get rid of the separate manually assembled specimen pages, if the image galleries are upgraded to allow the display of movies
- the Administer functions that are visible by default have been simplified, which will new help users to get started
The recent shift of the technology underlying the scratchpads (from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6) has led to numerous changes in how information is uploaded and displayed. Moreover, some previous functions currently do not work (e.g. the lists of the specimens and locations have disappeared), and the fileshares seem to have been abandoned.
I am in the process of trying to familiarise myself with the new system, and hope to be able to support your questions again soon.
We are about to get started with the Scratchpads Training Course, which is taking place as part of the BioSyst Meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands.
I hope that this will improve my ability to support the different users of the MTP Site, and to learn about upcoming features as part of the Drupal 6 roll-out.
During the recent 3rd International Macrostomum Meeting in Hasselt, Belgium I gave a lecture on observing and documenting Macrostomum in vivo.
Moreover, I introduced the participants to the main functionality of the Macrostomopha Taxonomy and Phylogeny website.
I was pleased to realize that many people appear to find the site useful, and that several are considering to contribute material in the future.
Finally once again in lovely Lignano looking for our favourite Macrostomum species. Our well proven improlab is better equipped than ever, and with a crew of seven people (Dita, Caro, Kiyono, Peter Tim, Gregor and Lukas) we will leave no sand grain unturned (well almost). The Bibione beach is again yielding lots of M. lignano, M. pusillum, M. axi and maybe a new something (more later). The weather is great, and being here a bit later than usual does not seem to harm neither our own or the worm's condition. We'll keep you posted. Lukas