News from the Broad

The Broad Institute is committed to open sharing not only of its scientific data and tools, but also information and news about our progress towards achieving our mission. Below are just a few highlights from the Broad scientific community.
  • Researchers identify small molecule that affects cellular disease phenotypes linked to autophagy

    August 12th, 2015

    Human genetic studies have implicated the regulation of autophagy (the process by which cells break themselves down) in inflammation, neurodegeneration, infection, and autoimmunity. This has led scientists to search for small-molecules that might enhance autophagy in order to shed light on its role in disease. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Broad researchers described one such effort: the team screened nearly 60,000 small molecules and found one, BRD5631, that affects several cellular disease phenotypes linked to autophagy. The researchers believe that studying the molecule’s mechanism of action may reveal therapeutically beneficial ways to modulate autophagy in the context of disease.

  • New automated process accelerates generation of induced pluripotent stem cells

    August 11th, 2015

    Reprogramming adult cells to a stem cell-like state can provide researchers with tools to help illuminate the role genetic differences play in disease development and potentially regenerate tissue in the wake of injury. However, these induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are difficult to create. In a study published this week in Nature Methods, researchers, including Kevin Eggan, Alexander Tsankov, and Alexander Meissner of the Broad Institute and Harvard Stem Cell Institute, describe an automated, robotic process that efficiently generates iPSC lines — a new approach that could facilitate studies with these cells.

  • Out of the lamplight

    July 30th, 2015
    New research from Broad's cell circuits program is the first to apply genome-wide CRISPR screening to primary cells and reveals new and known regulators of an important immune response circuit
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  • Commentary outlines plan for crowdsourced Chemical Probes Portal

    July 27th, 2015

    Chemical probes — small molecules that interact with a protein’s function — can be powerful tools to reveal the roles of targeted proteins in health and disease, but probes are sometimes of low quality, and high-quality ones can be misused. In a Nature Chemical Biology commentary, a multi-institutional team, including Broad Institute’s Stuart Schreiber, Nathanael Gray, and Joanne Kotz, describe plans for a new community-driven wiki-like site, called the Chemical Probes Portal, that crowdsources medicinal chemistry and pharmacology expertise to catalog the best chemical probes for a given protein target. The resource aims to support research in basic biology and the pursuit of new therapeutics.

  • American History 201

    July 21st, 2015
    Genetic studies link indigenous peoples in the Amazon and Australasia
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