• New prostate cancer gene mutation discovered

    Alice McCarthy, May 21st, 2012

    This week, a team of researchers from the Broad Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College reported the discovery of mutations in a gene previously unknown to be associated with prostate cancer, a disease that strikes over 241,000 men each year in the United States.

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  • WormToolbox in action

    Alice McCarthy, May 10th, 2012

    Last week we wrote about the new WormToolbox automated imaging software, used to capture single images of the C. elegans roundworm. See the news story here.

    While it’s one thing to describe the technology, we thought we’d share several images from real Broad Institute experiments using the WormToolbox program.


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  • 2000 common variations and counting

    Alice McCarthy, March 27th, 2012

    Over the past five years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified about 2,000 common genetic variations that underlie human disease risk. Earlier this week, we told you about a model Broad researchers and collaborators developed to help explain how thousands of other common genetic variations with low effect size combine to contribute to disease risk in rheumatoid arthritis and three other common diseases with a known genetic link.

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  • Kimberly Stegmaier, MD: Physician-Scientist

    Alice McCarthy, February 17th, 2012 | Filed under

    When you speak with Kimberly Stegmaier about her work as a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital Boston, it is clear that she loves treating patients, particularly children with hematological cancers like leukemia. Kim devotes her time to caring for children through the in-patient oncology service yet she also maintains long-term clinical relationships with patients she has been treating since completing her pediatric hematology oncology residency.

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  • Human Microbiome Snapshot

    Alice McCarthy, December 9th, 2011

    The human microbiome is the community of organisms that live, either peacefully or in mortal combat, inside of our bodies or on our skin. Broad researchers and affiliate scientists have been studying the human microbiome with the goal of learning how it influences health or disease. A few of this year’s highlights:

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  • It’s what's on the menu that counts

    Alice McCarthy, November 16th, 2011

    Though it may not seem obvious, fungi are the sister group to animals on the tree of life. Unlike bacteria, which are an entirely different part of the tree of life, fungi are nestled in with eukaryotes close to humans and other animals. Because of that they share a lot of common biological pathways. To treat a fungal infection successfully, without eliciting undue harm to its human host, one needs to find out what makes them different from animals.

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  • Meet a Broad Physician-Scientist: Jose Florez

    Alice McCarthy, October 11th, 2011 | Filed under

    Jose Florez, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and a new associate member at the Broad Institute, is one of 94 researchers to receive a 2011 Presidential Early Career Award, the highest honor given to scientists and engineers by the US government during the early stage of their careers. The award, announced by the White House on Sept.

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  • Word of the day: Fusion gene

    Alice McCarthy, September 19th, 2011 | Filed under

    When Peter Nowell looked under his microscope at some cancer cells at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and noticed that chromosome 22 was unusually short and chromosome 9 was longer than normal, he found what would become known as the first fusion gene. Two genes, each on different chromosomes, had combined – or fused – in an abnormal way in the cancer cell. The year was 1960 and chromosomal abnormalities could then only be identified visually.

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  • Creature Feature: Rhodococcus opacus PD630

    Alice McCarthy, September 8th, 2011

    Oil manufacturing may not be the first idea that comes to mind when considering the function of bacteria. But an unusual bacterial strain, Rhodococcus opacus PD630, does just that, naturally producing and storing up to 80% of its dry weight in oil. This unique feature caught the attention of researchers at MIT and the Broad Institute who together pursued understanding the bacteria’s genomics.

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  • Meet a Broad physician-scientist: Benjamin Ebert

    Alice McCarthy, August 18th, 2011 | Filed under

    Ben Ebert is as fluent in the care of patients with blood disorders as he is applying the latest genomic technologies in his laboratory at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and with colleagues in the Broad’s Cancer Program. It’s all part of the same mission for Ben—to understand blood disorders and cancers at the genetic level to find ways to end the suffering of people with these illnesses.

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