Blog

  • The many faces of malaria

    Haley Bridger, August 15th, 2012

    Malaria isn’t simply one disease caused by one organism. Malaria, which the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates affected over 200 million people in 2010, can actually be caused by five different species of parasite, and depending in part upon which one has made its home inside a host, symptoms of the disease can range from relatively mild to fatal.

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  • Painting with cells

    Haley Bridger, August 7th, 2012

    During his postdoc, Mark Bray, now a research scientist in the Broad Institute’s Imaging Platform, had a moment of epiphany as he stared at the heart cells before him: he could see a work of art. At the time, Mark was working in the lab of Kevin Kit Parker at the Harvard School of Engineering, a lab that examined the physical characteristics of the cells that compose the heart, and how structural changes in those cells relate to how the heart functions. Usually before the heart fails, cells in the heart start remodeling: they change their shape and size.

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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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  • Building a better TAL effector toolbox

    Haley Bridger, July 26th, 2012

    To comprehend a book written in English, readers need to recognize all 26 letters of the alphabet. To probe the inner workings of the genome, researchers need tools that can recognize a much shorter alphabet: the four “letters” or bases (As, Cs, Ts, and Gs) that make up DNA. Just as frequently misreading a letter in the English alphabet can make for a bewildering read, mistaking any of the letters in the DNA alphabet can be a source of confusion too.

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  • Tethered to the genome

    Haley Bridger, July 24th, 2012

    Matthew Freedman remembers the moment as clear as day. “I was sitting in the Massachusetts General Hospital cafeteria with David Altshuler talking about human genetics, and it just hit me,” Matthew recalls. “This is what I want to do.”

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  • Sneak preview of “Regeneration of missing body parts: lessons from flatworms”

    Haley Bridger, July 19th, 2012

    Peter Reddien gives us a sneak preview of his upcoming Midsummer Nights’ Science lecture, which he will give on July 25. As Peter explains in the video below, planarians – a kind of flatworm – possess an amazing ability. They can regenerate new heads, or any other missing body part, after injury. Peter and his colleagues are trying to understand how these amazing feats of regeneration happen. Watch the video below to hear more.

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  • 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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  • Faster, cheaper, smaller

    Leah Eisenstadt, June 26th, 2012 | Filed under

    A team of researchers at the Broad Institute recently revealed a new cell microarray capable of probing the functions of genes faster and cheaper than ever before.

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