From Hacking to Studying the Brain

Posted by David Konow

From what little I know about hacking, you would think it takes an intelligent mind to work your way through a complicated computer system and break into, say, the Pentagon. So when hackers get caught and can no longer spend their time breaking into computer systems, how can they reform themselves? 

 
Well, one hacker decided to turn away from the hacker life and study the brain. As smartplanet tells us, Moran Cerf was a hacker for nearly a decade, but now he’s studying brain seizures. Cerf studied physics, and he did a master’s thesis in philosophy of science. “I never imagined I would be a neuroscientist,” he said.
 
But through the course of his hacking adventures, he met up with a scientist, Francis Crick, and decided to change his course in life. “Since he was sort of a hacker who was able to break the code of life – our DNA – he felt that figuring out how the brain works is similar to hacking.” 
 
Cerf then applied to Caltech, and started working on research on brain seizures like epilepsy. He also wants to take his findings to the public, and he feels “it is my duty to make it clear and accessible to everyone.” 
 
Cerf added, “I’m not worried about the technology being exploited by people for malicious reasons,” unlike breaking into some place that could cause serious danger. “Like most scientists, we have to keep making sure we truly benefit our patients and the world and keep being creative.” 
 
So could Cerf end up being the first hacker to reform and become a neuroscientist? There’s a first time for everything…