There is an excellent editorial, Death by a Thousand Cuts by the former head of FASEB, William T. Talman on the research budget cuts in science. It is well worth your time to read it, consider its content and share with people you know.
Our colleague and Director of Research at the University of Utah‘s Moran Eye Center, Robert E. Marc, Ph.D. has been named by the International Society for Eye Research as a recipient of the Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research. The award will be presented to Dr. Marc during the 2014 ISER Biennial Meeting of the Society for Eye Research in San Francisco, California on Thursday, July 24th, 2014.
The Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research was created by the Directors of Retina Research Foundation and endowed by the Trustees of The Kayser Foundation to honor and perpetuate the memory of long-time friend and dedicated benefactor of RRF, Paul Kayser. Through this award both organizations are demonstrating the conviction they shared with Mr. Kayser that blindness caused by retinal disease is a global concern and must be addressed accordingly. It is thus the purpose of this award to foster greater awareness of the need for intensive study of the retina, its role in the visual process, and the retinal diseases that threaten and/or destroy eyesight by recognizing outstanding achievement and sustaining meritorious scientific investigations worldwide.
Dr. Marc was chosen as the recipient of this award for his lifetime body of work in retinal research, discovering the structure and function of the retina through novel technologies and approaches that have pushed our understanding of the retina forward.
The animated image above is a sequence of abstracted neuronal images from brain visual cortex that I originally posted here. The images are from neurons labeled with different probes, though that is not important for the discussion here. What is relevant is that I’ve been wondering why science does not more widely implement animated GIFS to explain and represent scientific image data for ease of communication. The .gif format is one of the oldest standards on the Internet for display of raster graphics, introduced by Compuserve back in 1987. In addition to their long history on the Internet, .gif files have wide support and are incredibly portable. (The history of the gif is summarized nicely here on a PBS Off Book video on Youtube). Animated gifs have made a resurgence of sorts on the Internet as a means to communicate or show motion in ways that were not originally intended, but nevertheless are innovative and useful. It would seem that for scientists and those interested in communication of scientific ideas, supplemental data are an ideal way to show animation or motion or any number of approaches useful to scientific communication. Granted, one can do all sorts of animations with video formats like MPEG or Flash (not very convenient for portable uses like phones or tablets) and new HTML5 and emerging HTML standards, but the gif is a robust standard that has been around for many years and can be utilized by those in parts of the world where bandwidth and some of the latest tools are not as available as they are in 1st world countries.
As science and science education becomes more available via open access to wider audiences around the globe, we should strive to adopt open standards with low to reasonable standards for accessibility and gifs fit nicely within those requirements.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded prizes for audacious ideas in vision research to a number of investigators including our own Dr. Yingbin Fu at the Moran Eye Center.
Yingbin Fu, a Moran researcher and assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the University of Utah, is one of 10 winners of the Audacious Goals Challenge, a nationwide competition for compelling ideas to advance vision and science. Continue reading “NIH Competition Awards Prizes For Audacious Ideas In Vision Research”
The image that is used for the avatar here on Webvision has been awarded first place in the journal Science and the National Science Foundation‘s Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge for 2011 (video with interviews here).
A friend of Webvision, renaissance man and photographer extraordinaire, Duncan Davidson visited us at the Moran Eye Center and hung out for a day of science while we performed experiments. Duncan documented some of the work we did that day in the lovely video he posted to Vimeo above. You have quite possibly seen Duncan’s work before on CNN or of individuals giving talks at the TED conference as Duncan is the official TED photographer.