Blog

  • A cancer drug that wears many hats

    Leah Eisenstadt, July 1st, 2015

    Nearly a decade ago, the FDA approved the drug lenalidomide to treat patients with deletion-5q myelodysplastic syndrome (del(5q) MDS), a cancer of the myeloid cells in the bone marrow that form several types of blood cells. In this condition, some bone marrow cells are missing a portion of chromosome 5 – hence, the “del(5q)” – on one copy of their genome (the human genome has two copies of each chromosome, one from each parent), and this deletion causes malignant cells to grow unchecked.

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  • Wall of sticky notes fuels genomics at Broad

    Leah Eisenstadt, June 3rd, 2015

    The Broad Institute is designed for collaboration. Visitors will notice walls of glass that promote transparency, “living rooms” with casual seating for informal meetings, and writable, “whiteboard walls” stocked with dry erase markers for spontaneous brainstorming sessions. Some of these writable walls sport chemical formulas or structures and others detail new hypotheses.

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  • Broad In Focus: Tom Green, Software Engineering Manager

    Leah Eisenstadt, April 30th, 2015

    For the past seven years, software engineering manager Tom Green has guided the development and maintenance of software tools that support the Genetic Perturbation Platform at the Broad Institute, where he can be found working with a team of software engineers or consulting with scientists conducting experimental screens. Two decades ago, however, Green was living without electricity or running water in the jungles of Nicaragua, a houseguest of locals in the remote village of Karawala on the Caribbean coast, doing a very different kind of research.

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  • For drivers of Alzheimer’s disease, check the roadmap

    Leah Eisenstadt, March 13th, 2015

    Recently, the BroadMinded blog highlighted the exciting science emerging from the Roadmap Epigenomics program, resulting in the most comprehensive map of the human epigenome — the collection of chemical changes to DNA and its supporting proteins that help control how genes are turned on or off.

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  • Structural variation goes extreme

    Leah Eisenstadt, February 6th, 2015

    From person to person, the human genome varies in a number of important ways. Some of the variation is in the form of genetic misspellings – single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. Other variation takes the form of so-called “structural variation:” as genetic rearrangements, or as missing or extra segments of DNA, known as copy number variation (CNV). Scientists at the Broad Institute and elsewhere are working to locate and characterize many different types of variation and look for connections between the variants and human traits and disease.

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  • Broad Institute, Ragon Institute aim to help “end HIV” by awarding new catalytic grants

    Leah Eisenstadt, September 25th, 2014

    Despite significant gains made by the scientific and medical communities to understand the HIV virus, an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine – the best hope for ending the epidemic – is still out of reach.

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  • Broad Paper Vids: Peering into the transcriptome of single cells

    Leah Eisenstadt, July 2nd, 2014

    The ability to monitor the function and activity of single cells in isolation using RNA sequencing enables researchers to uncover the remarkable heterogeneity of tissues. Using a new microfluidic system to prepare cells for single-cell RNA sequencing, a team of scientists at the Broad Institute and Fluidigm, led by Broad core member Aviv Regev, associate member Hongkun Park, and Fluidigm scientist Andrew May, analyzed the transcriptomes of more than 1,700 primary mouse bone-marrow-derived dendritic cells.

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  • Broad Paper Vids: Study of both common and rare variation yields insight into cardiac arrhythmia

    Leah Eisenstadt, June 24th, 2014

    In the search for genetic sources of disease risk or genes that control traits, scientists can look for a single mutant gene that causes a rare, Mendelian disease or common DNA alterations that influence the trait in the broader population. But often those approaches remain separate.

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  • In the news: Wall Street Journal op-ed balances a troublesome argument

    Leah Eisenstadt, June 13th, 2014

    The Wall Street Journal this weekend featured an opinion piece by Broad Institute deputy director David Altshuler and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the director of Harvard's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. In the piece, Altshuler and Gates present a thoughtful perspective on the history of race as a concept, and the misguided tendency to “view race strictly through the lens of genetic inheritance”.

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  • Broad core member awarded National Science Foundation’s highest honor

    Leah Eisenstadt, April 10th, 2014

    Broad Institute core faculty member Feng Zhang has been named the 2014 recipient of the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation. The award, named after the NSF’s first director, is the agency’s highest honor, which annually recognizes an outstanding researcher under the age of 35. Zhang’s award will help support his work to understand how the brain works.

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