Blog

  • Broad scientists win innovation, transformative research grants

    Elizabeth Cooney, September 13th, 2012

    Five scientists from the Broad Institute and its partners have won federal grants to pursue projects with the potential to transform scientific research and more rapidly bring biomedical advances to patients.

    The National Institutes of Health is awarding approximately $155 million to 81 researchers across the country who are pursuing visionary science through its High Risk High Reward program, supported by the NIH Common Fund.

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  • Delivering on a promise

    Elizabeth Cooney, August 22nd, 2012

    RNA interference, a gene-silencing phenomenon discovered in the late 1990s, was hailed for its potential as a treatment in cancer and other diseases. But finding a way to deliver short stretches of RNA to tumors  safely and effectively has been challenging. By themselves, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) break down quickly and invade tumors poorly, so they need a delivery vehicle.

    Now one exciting technology is enabling another. Scientists have successfully targeted cancer cells in mice by creating tumor-penetrating nanoparticles to carry siRNAs as their cargo.

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  • Sneak preview of 'Harnessing genomics to decipher fundamental differences'

    Elizabeth Cooney, July 31st, 2012

    Stacey Gabriel gives us a sneak peek of her upcoming Midsummer Nights’ Science lecture, which she will give on August 1. Director of the Broad's Genomics Platform, she will discuss the implications of using DNA sequencing and genotyping technologies to compare DNA from one person to another, and from humans to other animals.

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  • Two-way exchange

    Elizabeth Cooney, June 20th, 2012

    The Slim Initiative for Genomic Medicine is a two-way street, with researchers and information moving in both directions as part of an international collaboration between the Broad Institute and the National Institute of Genomic Medicine in Mexico City, known by its Spanish acronym INMEGEN.

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  • Zooming in on early embryonic development

    Elizabeth Cooney, March 30th, 2012

    If there were just one book of biology, it would be rewritten constantly with the sometimes dramatic, more often incremental advances in understanding that come with the nature of science. Constant revision can come with insight – think Darwin – or with technology – witness faster, cheaper sequencing machines – or with both.

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  • Making waves at Marco Island

    Elizabeth Cooney, February 24th, 2012

    It’s been a long time since Chad Nusbaum has seen a conference room go so quiet so fast.

    A speaker from Oxford Nanopore Technologies had just described the company’s new disposable device, which will sell for less than $900. The size of a USB memory stick, it reads individual chemical bases on a strand of DNA as it passes through a tiny hole, measuring differences in electrical conductivity to reveal their identity. A larger version of the device will stack in arrays that are projected to be able to sequence a human genome in 15 minutes.

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  • In the news: Times profiles Eric Lander

    Elizabeth Cooney, January 3rd, 2012

    Broad Director Eric Lander is profiled in today's New York Times as a leader in science who co-founded a biomedical institute although his field was at first pure mathematics.

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  • Broad researcher receives GE-Science Prize

    Elizabeth Cooney, December 1st, 2011

    Ramen noodles. Origami. And a ridiculously good hammer. These are just some of the images Erez Lieberman Aiden uses to help us see the entire genome inside the human cell, territory he and others at the Broad charted in a feat combining molecular biology with three-dimensional genome sequencing. Their method zooms in on the cell nucleus to reveal just how the two-meter-long human genome folds itself inside a space several times narrower than a human hair.

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  • Gut check: Bacterium high in colon tumors

    Elizabeth Cooney, October 17th, 2011

    By now most of us have grown accustomed to – if not entirely comfortable with – the knowledge that we share our bodies with countless microbes. Good and bad, our skin, our mouths, and our guts teem with them. Scientists are now training next-generation sequencing technologies on these bugs, turning up surprises that may shed light on human disease, including cancer.

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  • The 1% solution: Decoding malaria genomes

    Elizabeth Cooney, September 6th, 2011

    Imagine the sample you want to study consists of dried blood on filter paper stored for more than a year at room temperature in Senegal. Keep in mind that what you’re looking for – DNA of the one-celled parasite that causes malaria – typically amounts to 1 percent of the genetic material you have in hand, outnumbered by human DNA that makes up the other 99 percent of that blood spot.

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