• Filling in the voids

    Haley Bridger, December 1st, 2010 | Filed under

    Our brains are adept at using visual cues to fill in missing information and make continuous shapes out of discrete pieces. For instance, in an illusion known as the Kanizsa triangle, three ‘Pac-Man’ shapes form what appears to be a triangle as our mind fills in a shape that isn’t actually there. In his latest Points of View column in Nature Methods, the Broad Institute’s creative director Bang Wong describes ways scientists can use graphics and text to play off of these principles of visual completion and continuity.

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  • Come celebrate Darwin at the Broad Institute!

    Haley Bridger, November 17th, 2010 | Filed under

    This Friday, November 19, at 7:30 pm, come to the Broad Institute auditorium at 7 Cambridge Center for “Darwin and the Debate over Human Origins,” a free and public symposium organized by the Darwin Bicentennial Project and Science of the Eye. The event marks the 151st anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and will feature talks by Darwin scholar and author Janet Browne, Broad associate member David Reich, and other distinguished speakers from Harvard and MIT.

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  • Five Questions for Nir Hacohen

    Haley Bridger, November 16th, 2010 | Filed under

    Your immune system is quite clever. It can sense when bacteria, viruses, or pathogens are invading, distinguish among them, and respond accordingly. But an overactive or improperly functioning immune system can lead to a variety of problems such as auto-immune diseases like lupus or diseases related to inflammation, such as hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Nir Hacohen and his colleagues at the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital want to find out more about the intricacies of how the immune system works and how it relates to these diseases.

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  • Why is it so hard to make an HIV vaccine?

    Haley Bridger, November 5th, 2010 | Filed under

    This week, we published a news story about a paper on HIV controllers – people who are HIV positive but keep the virus in check. This research stems from the International HIV Controllers Study, and researchers hope that their findings will ultimately help inform the development of new therapies and vaccines.

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  • Beyond the Genome: Enough to make your skin crawl

    Haley Bridger, November 4th, 2010 | Filed under

    Julie Segre is interested in what makes us itch. Bringing together the fields of dermatology, immunology, and microbiology, Dr. Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute, is studying the relationship between people and the bacteria and other microscopic organisms (microbes) living on their skin. Dr. Segre, who spoke at this year’s “Beyond the Genome” conference here in Boston, is especially interested in people with eczema and the unique microbial populations they harbor.

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  • Dan Neafsey takes aim at Anopheles mosquitoes and their partner parasites

    Haley Bridger, October 21st, 2010 | Filed under

    After studying the evolution of genome size in puffer fish for his doctoral thesis, Dan Neafsey was ready for a change. A population geneticist by training, Dan wanted to study an organism or system with a larger impact on human welfare. As he was finishing his thesis in the Hartl lab at Harvard, Dan began to teach himself Perl programming – just enough to perform an initial comparative analysis on malaria genomes and begin learning about the disease with Dyann Wirth’s partner lab at Harvard School of Public Health.

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  • National Chemistry Week: Tuning in to science

    Haley Bridger, October 20th, 2010 | Filed under

    If you’re an aspiring chemist, full-fledged scientist, or just someone who likes to think about the chemical structures of the ingredients in shampoo, it’s time to celebrate: this week is National Chemistry Week!

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  • Lights, camera, lincRNA

    Haley Bridger, October 13th, 2010 | Filed under

    Broad associate member John Rinn recently stopped by our office to drop off copies of the August 6 edition of Cell – his paper on how the tumor suppressor p53 “orchestrates” the actions of noncoding RNAs to turn genes off appeared in the issue and on its cover. John also told us about his brief stint as a video star. Cell Press, which publishes several journals including Cell, allows researchers to submit video abstracts about their papers.

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  • The skinny on fat cells

    Haley Bridger, October 6th, 2010 | Filed under

    Researchers at the Broad are looking for clues about how fat cells develop. Last week, we posted a news story about research published in the journal Cell that shows how scientists are using epigenomic maps to find factors that control fat cell development.

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  • A salient feature

    Haley Bridger, October 1st, 2010 | Filed under

    The Broad's creative director Bang Wong writes about visual salience -- that quality that makes objects "pop" off the page -- in his column for this month's issue of Nature Methods. Salience allows viewers to spot trends and patterns in data faster and process multiple features of the data. Understanding how salience works could help scientists communicate information in figures as well as in presentations.

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