The identity of the woman who opened fire at the University of Alabama Friday has been revealed.
The revelation comes, or should come, as a great shock – Amy Bishop, an assistant professor of biological sciences, has been revealed as the assailant. Sadly, if the following is true, her actions may not be so shocking.
According to CNN, a motive hasn’t been revealed to the public.
However, according to an article on the San Fransisco Chronicle website, a motive may be known. The article states that Bishop was working on a cybernetics project that used neurons as we use integrated circuits in a computer.
Before that project, dubbed the “Neuristor”, Bishop and her husband Jim Anderson created a portable cell-incubator called “InQ”. This particular project won an award in a state competition and $25,000 in a business competition.
Her profile has been pulled from the university website, but Google still holds some information about her, such as this description of the “Neuristor” project:
“My laboratory’s goal will be to continue in our effort to develop a neural computer, the Neuristor, using living neurons. This computer will exploit all of the advantages of neurons. Specifically, neurons rich with the nitric oxide NO dependent learning receptor, N Methyl D Aspartate receptor NMDAR, will be utilized. These have previously been studied in the context of induced adaptive resistance to NO IAR. For the Neuristor we will take advantage of the IAR phenomena since it has been demonstrated that IAR neurons express more learning and memory receptors NMDAR as well as increased neurite outgrowth. The neurons that we are currently using are mammalian motor neurons. We are exploring the possibility of using neurons derived from adult stem cells, and from bony fishes provided by Bruce Stallsmith Ph.D. This laboratory has created a portable cell culture incubator, the Cell Drive, that is an ideal support structure for the Neuristor.”
The Chronicle states that Bishop was denied tenure as a professor. They hypothesize that they were letting her go but keeping her projects – thus making money off of them. As a result, she became unstable and perpetuated the unfortunate display of possible anger and dismay.
A confirmed motive hasn’t been released yet; take this with a grain of salt. However, if reports of her dismissal are true, all you have to do is read up on public shooting history to know that this could be a feasible motive. Couple a dismissal with a million dollar idea, and an act such as what transpired Friday almost becomes expected.
To view her archived University of Alabama profile, visit this link: http://web.archive.org/web/20070820140857/www.uah.edu/colleges/science/biology/amy/amy.htm