Grabbing one of the three laptops in her office at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK, Jasmin Fisher flips open the lid and starts to describe how she and her collaborators used an approach from computer science to make a discovery in molecular biology. Fisher glances across her desk to where her collaborator, Nir Piterman of Imperial College London, is watching restlessly. “I know you could do this faster,” she says to Piterman, who is also her husband. “But you are a computer scientist and I am a biologist and we must be patient.”
It was over drinks at a local pub in the spring of 2006 that cognitive psychologist Martin Conway of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom first told his colleague Chris Moulin about using a wearable camera for memory research. But it took more than a few pints of beer to convince Moulin that SenseCam, a camera that periodically takes still photos while worn on the user’s chest, might be a game-changer in the study of what psychologists call autobiographical memory. Although skeptical of the small device’s usefulness, Moulin did finally agree to take one for a test drive.
The University of Cambridge rang in its 800th anniversary with church bells and a light show on Saturday the 17th. The light show, created by projection artist Ross Ashton, included specially commissioned illustrations of Cambridge alumni Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton by Roald Dahl’s illustrator, Quentin Blake. Above, a graying Darwin ponders the tree of life, whose branches recapitulate the origins of the species. Other images evoked the scientific, musical, and debaucherous achievements of 800 years of Cambridge students and alumni.
See all the photos at Science Magazine’s new Darwin blog [html].
Kirsten Timmons was navigating a frozen overpass one night when a passing car skidded out of control and slammed into her vehicle. As her car came to a stop, Timmons’s head probably snapped around its own axis, decelerating sharply when it struck the seat-belt holder next to her. Continue reading