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'Imag(e)ing' the science of measuring form in the XXI century

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, October 14, 2014. 04:00 PM - 05:15 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Humanities Center Board Room
Meeting Description: 
In the XXI century, molecular biology has revolutionized many fields of research including  medicine, forensics, archeology, conservation biology, ecology and evolutionary biology. However, the study of DNA is generally not an aim in itself: we are interested in what DNA has to say about the way we are (the phenotype) and the environment we live in. In this context, computerized methods of image analysis are becoming a customary tool for a rigorous numerical investigation of form in biology, paleontology and other disciplines. Cardini will briefly explain what the main technique is; he will describe a simple study case to explain on how it works; and will briefly mention a few other examples of the disparate variety of potential applications of these 'new' methods, which ranges from the reconstruction of fossils and prediction of soft tissues using bones to medical diagnosis and even locomotion analysis.
 
About the speaker:
Andreas Cardini is an Italian biologist (bachelor degree, University of Milan; PhD, University of Bologna) specialized in the study of form variation in mammals, and other organisms. He uses computerized methods of image analysis to answer scientific questions related to group differences, and the factors that might produce them, in evolution, taxonomy and biogeography, palaeontology and zooarchaeology, biomedicine and forensics.

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