No, I am not angling for a trip abroad. And no, I do not have a thing for Italian researchers.

It is entirely by coincidence that my first two stories on the science and technology beat focused on the fascinating, yet distinct, work of two University of California, San Diego researchers who grew up in Florence, Italy.

And in case you are wondering, Maurizio Seracini and Jacopo Annese do know each other. And, if you ask Annese, their passions are related, even if they seem very different on the surface.

Seracini, the director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archeology, or CISA3, has employed cutting-edge imaging technology in his three-decade search for Leonardo da Vinci’s lost masterwork. Annese, who established The Brain Observatory, is set to take possession of one of the world’s most famous brains.

“[Seracini] uses multi-spectral imaging to study the different layers of a painting,” Annese said. “I use similar methods to study different layers in the brain.”


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