The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History is world renowned for its collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts. An 8-ton, 14-foot-tall African elephant specimen, known as Henry, is the largest of its kind and a centerpiece of their collection. The Museum staff includes more than 100 scientists who curate an astonishing 126.6 million objects and specimens, a collection that grows at a rate of 250,000 objects each year.1,2
Although the CAS REGISTRY database may not include a "specimen" as visually impressive as Henry the elephant, it is the centerpiece of CAS' content and is recognized as the global standard for chemical substance identification. As the largest database of chemical substances in the world, REGISTRY includes nearly 50 million disclosed organic and inorganic substances. CAS registered the 40 millionth substance just 9 months ago. Since then, REGISTRY has grown by nearly 10 million substances!
Like the Smithsonian, REGISTRY is far more than just a repository for "specimens". The substance collection is curated by a staff of dedicated scientists who thoroughly index information found in journal articles and patents so that it may be easily accessed by CAS customers. CAS scientists analyzed more than 1 million documents last year, including articles from more than 10,000 major scientific journals and patents from 59 patent authorities around the world.
Peter S. Carlton, Ph.D.
- Smithsonian Institution. http://www.si.edu/ (accessed July 10, 2009).
- National Museum of Natural History. http://www.mnh.si.edu/ (accessed July 10, 2009).
You can use SciFinder® or STN® to search the CAS databases such as REGISTRY.
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