Blog

  • Sneak preview of “Dissecting the brain, one gene at a time”

    Haley Bridger, July 17th, 2012

    Last week, we spoke with core member Feng Zhang to get a sneak preview of his upcoming Midsummer Nights’ Science lecture, which he will give on July 18. His talk, titled “Dissecting the brain, one gene at a time” will introduce you to new technologies he and his colleagues are developing for genome engineering, and for manipulating the activities of different cell types, including neurons.

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  • Unpacking a complex genetic suitcase

    Haley Bridger, July 11th, 2012

    Long before Homo sapiens lived in Africa, even before Neanderthals roamed part of the world, something interesting was happening on chromosome 17. Around 2.3 million years ago, a 900-kb chunk of DNA broke off, reversed itself, and reattached on the chromosome in the opposite orientation. These kinds of genomic rearrangements (known as inversions) are not entirely uncommon, but what is unusual is that both versions of the chromosome – each with a substantial chunk of DNA pointing in a different direction – still exist in the human gene pool.

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  • Sneak preview of Miniature science - How microfluidics is powering biology

    Haley Bridger, July 5th, 2012

    Each summer, the Broad Institute holds a free, public lecture series at 7 Cambridge Center in Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. This year, visitors will hear about the power of a tiny chip, new ways to investigate the inner-workings of the brain, the regenerative feats of flatworms, and the genomic differences that underlie our health and biology. You can find the full schedule and register for the series here.

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  • Learning the language of cancer cell metabolism

    Haley Bridger, May 29th, 2012

    When Mohit Jain joined the Broad Institute, he had no idea that the postdoc at the desk next to him would become a close collaborator and friend. Although Mo and Roland Nilsson sat only a few feet apart, they were working in different worlds.

    “I spoke the language of clinical biology, and Roland spoke the language of math,” Mo recalls. “We’d look at each other’s data, and it was as if we were speaking completely different languages. We couldn’t decipher at all what the other person did.”

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  • Insights from a clinician-investigator

    Haley Bridger, May 23rd, 2012

    This week, an interview with David Altshuler – clinical endocrinologist, human geneticist, and core faculty member of the Broad Institute – appears in Science Translational Medicine. David spoke with Sarah Henrickson, an early-career clinician-investigator who completed an M.D.-Ph.D. program at Harvard Medical School, and is currently a pediatrics resident in the Boston Combined Residency Program at Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center.

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  • A Sage partnership

    Haley Bridger, April 12th, 2012

    Even when everything is in working order, the team in the Broad’s Genome Sequencing Platform is never completely satisfied. Someone is always tinkering, inventing, or thinking about a way to strengthen one of the links in the chain of events that leads to sequenced DNA.

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  • The opening moves of HIV

    Haley Bridger, March 9th, 2012

    Picture a game of chess between the immune system and HIV. For every move the immune system makes against the virus, its opponent adapts, changing the game and shifting the advantage. But what if you could turn the clock back and watch the first few moves of the game? What could you learn about the virus from its opening moves?

    Researchers from the Broad Institute and the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard set out to take a careful look at a viral population during the critical time period just after infection.

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  • Eric Lander wins Dan David Prize

    Haley Bridger, March 2nd, 2012

    The Broad Institute’s Director Eric Lander is among the recipients of the 2012 Dan David Prize – a prestigious Israeli award for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact.

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  • New wind in the sails of rheumatoid arthritis research

    Haley Bridger, February 9th, 2012

    In 1987, Peter Gregersen was part of a big breakthrough in the field of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research. By comparing versions of a particular gene in patients with RA to those without the disease, Peter and his colleagues found a telltale stretch of amino acids – the building blocks of proteins – that seemed to distinguish those who had RA from those who did not.

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  • From a quiet genome, a new cancer gene emerges

    Haley Bridger, January 12th, 2012

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the most common form of blood cancer, is a strikingly heterogeneous disease. In some cases, the disease is aggressive and fatal; in others, it causes few symptoms for years or decades. From a genome analysis perspective, CLL is also unusual: it is quiet.

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