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Washed Away

Beneath the water lie memories of vibrant villages.| Originally published in The Magazine, September 11, 2014.

Sally Norcross stands outside what was once her childhood home, in the heart of Dana, Massachusetts. She and her family left town 76 years ago, but she has clear memories of throwing crabapples into the yard of her grouchy neighbor Mr. Vaughn. Across Main Street is where she used to sit in school and watch out the window as the men dug up all the graves in the cemetery.

The bodies and headstones were relocated and the town of Dana abandoned. Her family’s house is an empty stone cellar overgrown with brush, like the remains of all the other buildings that made up the town. Dana is one of four towns that once lay in the Swift River Valley. All four of them are gone. Dana is unique in that its town common is the only one of the four that’s still above water and accessible.

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The Quest to Link Up Large-Scale Brain Research

The problem of neuroscience has rapidly been shifting from not enough information, to more than we know what to do with, or at least can handle collectively. Some major funders hope to get brain researchers speaking the same language, in terms of data, and then get them talking.

As massive neuroscience projects like the BRAIN Initiative and the Human Brain Project pop up internationally, researchers face the challenge of orchestrating growing stores of data built up by our quickly advancing number-crunching technology. But, as in many other fields right now, the limit to what we can do is about our ability to collaborate and approach a bird’s eye view of the diverse information we’re gleaning. Read the full article at Inside Philanthropy.