• What is an ORF?

    Leah Eisenstadt, November 30th, 2010 | Filed under

    Last week, researchers at the Broad announced exciting study results that reveal how cancer cells can evade treatment and become resistant. They found that although anti-melanoma drugs can block the B-RAF gene that drives these cancers, malignant melanoma cells can “turn on” another gene called COT and survive, pointing to this gene as another potential target for therapy.

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  • Carolina Wahlby helps roundworms take center stage

    Leah Eisenstadt, November 23rd, 2010 | Filed under

    Here on the blog last month we introduced you to the roundworm C. elegans, a scientific star among worms. At the Broad, a team of scientists led by computational biologist Carolina Wahlby is now helping C. elegans take center stage with new tools for high-throughput analysis of worm images.

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  • Dog research featured on TV's NOVA

    Leah Eisenstadt, November 18th, 2010 | Filed under

    A recent episode of PBS's NOVA series features the Broad Institute and researcher Elinor Karlsson. The program, Dogs Decoded, offers a scientific view of how dogs evolved from wolves, how their species is uniquely connected to ours, and what researchers are learning about human disease by studying dog genomes.

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  • Broadies take the seven words challenge

    Leah Eisenstadt, November 15th, 2010 | Filed under

    Our colleagues in New Zealand took the seven words challenge: Can you describe your scientific pursuits in seven words or less? We posed the question to our own scientists here at the Broad and got some enlightening results!

    Taking the guesswork out of cancer

    I discover the molecular causes of cancer

    Assemble genome sequence from billions of pieces

    DNA isolation, preparation, quantification, management and storage

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  • Beyond the Genome: Uncovering evolution’s driving forces in the human genome

    Leah Eisenstadt, November 3rd, 2010 | Filed under

    Last week, here on the blog we told you about some of the exciting results to come from the recently completed pilot phase of the 1000 Genomes Project. Scientists in the consortium sequenced several hundred genomes and captured even more of the variation among human genomes than had been previously known. The project aims to not only employ “next-generation” sequencing technologies at a scale never before achieved, it also aims to create the best map of human genetic variation so far.

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  • Beyond the Genome: New uses for DNA sequencers

    Leah Eisenstadt, November 2nd, 2010 | Filed under

    Once upon a time, sequencing the human genome took tens of millions of dollars and a warehouse full of DNA sequencing machines that analyzed samples throughout the day, and year after year. Now, less than a decade later, the same human genome sequence — the order of nucleotides or “letters” — can be generated using a single machine that analyzes samples for a few days, and for about 100-fold lower cost.

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  • InfoPhoto: Transparent Design

    Leah Eisenstadt, October 25th, 2010 | Filed under


    The Broad Institute aims for transparency to make its data and software freely available to the scientific community. That transparency is also seen in the buildings' design. Glass walls in offices, labs, and conference rooms reflect the "open-access" nature of the institute.

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  • A genome blooms

    Leah Eisenstadt, October 22nd, 2010 | Filed under

    The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a lovely place to explore, where visitors can stroll among the treetops nearly 60 feet above the ground, tunnel through an interactive play area shaped like a plant, or get a close-up view of piranha, poison-dart tree frogs, and baby water dragons.

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  • What is exome sequencing?

    Leah Eisenstadt, October 15th, 2010 | Filed under

    The human genome consists of 3 billion nucleotides or “letters” of DNA. But only a small percentage — 1.5 percent — of those letters are actually translated into proteins, the functional players in the body. The “exome” consists of all the genome’s exons, which are the coding portions of genes. The term exon was derived from “EXpressed regiON,” since these are the regions that get translated, or expressed as proteins, as opposed to the intron, or “INTRagenic regiON” which is not represented in the final protein.

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  • Highlights on height

    Leah Eisenstadt, October 8th, 2010 | Filed under

    Last week, Broad researchers and others in the GIANT (Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits) Consortium published work revealing 180 genomic regions influencing height, the most yet identified for a single trait or disease. It may come as no surprise that stature is leading the pack when it comes to traits yielding their genetic secrets. Height is one of the easiest traits to measure, and studies on other traits and diseases often record subjects’ height, providing ample data for scientists.

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