When a cold front moved into Somerville the middle of last week, the team at Understory sat by their computer screens, watching it engulf the city in real time. As part of a new partnership with the city, the weather tracking company is looking at Somerville as a giant lab to stress-test its novel design for a local weather monitor.

Just a year ago, Understory raised $1.9 million in funding, changed its name, and moved from Madison, Wis., to Boston to join the Bolt hardware accelerator. It is currently based at the Somerville incubator Greentown Labs, and so this project provides the company with an opportunity to tinker with its new technology in its backyard. For the city, it’s a first shot at gathering high-density weather data that it can put to use during events like snowstorms.More →

Now that we are all comfortable talking to artificial personas on our smartphones — “Siri, who are the Sox playing tonight?” — Cynthia Breazeal thinks we’re ready for a robot companion that lives on the kitchen counter. Breazeal took a leave of absence from MIT, where she runs the Personal Robots Group within the Media Lab, to develop Jibo, a playful “family robot” that will cost about $500. Her company started taking pre-orders last summer.More →

Doyle will be taking over the role from Harry Lewis, dean and computer science professor, who was filling the role after Dean Cherry Murray, a physicist who served as dean of the school for five years, announced her intention to step down in October last year. 

At UCSB, Doyle led a biomedical engineering lab whose major projects included an artificial pancreas to treat pediatric diabetes.More →

Third Rock Ventures partners Robert Tepper, Mark Levin, and Kevin Starr. (Globe photo / Essdras M. Suarez)

The Newbury Street venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures has a track record of incubating and funding successful biotech companies like Foundation Medicine, Sage Therapeutics, and Agios. But now it is looking to give its startups a leg up in the Cambridge real estate market, by renting a big chunk of laboratory space. Several real estate industry sources say Third Rock is sniffing around former Vertex Pharmaceuticals digs on Sidney Street, near MIT.More →