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.
  • New method characterizes amplification bias in single-cell genomic DNA

    April 21st, 2015

    In Nature Communications, a team led by researchers from the Broad Institute, MIT, and Dana-Farber Cancer Center describes new statistical methods that account for artifacts introduced by whole-genome amplification of single-cell genomic DNA. Their approach establishes a system for characterizing amplification bias and provides a framework for quality assurance in single-cell DNA libraries. Broad associate member J. Christopher Love and institute member Matthew Meyerson were senior authors of the study; Broad researchers Cheng-Zhong Zhang and Viktor Adalsteinsson were first authors.

  • New computational strategy maps single-cell spatial patterning in complex tissue

    April 17th, 2015

    For cells, location is key to their fate and behavior, but studying expression patterns across complex tissues is difficult. A team led by Broad visiting scientist Rahul Satija (of Broad core member Aviv Regev's lab) and Jeff Farrell (a postdoc in associate member Alex Schier's lab) recently reported on Seurat, their new computational strategy to map single cells by integrating single-cell RNA-seq data with RNA patterns from tissues. Their team used the tool, named after the 19th century pointillist painter, to generate a transcriptome-wide map of spatial patterning in zebrafish embryos, demonstrating Seurat's utility for mapping cells within complex patterned tissues. Their paper appears online in Nature Biotechnology.

  • GenomeSpace makes it easier to explore cancer data

    April 14th, 2015

    A technology feature in this month’s issue of the journal Nature Methods discusses the exponential growth of cancer “omics” data, the need for interoperability between data integration tools, and the approaches researchers are taking to address these issues. One of the helpful technologies highlighted in the piece is GenomeSpace, a platform that bridges commonly used bioinformatics tools, facilitating interoperability for biomedical investigators with little to no computer programming experience.

  • New study examines cell survival in low-oxygen tumor environments

    April 13th, 2015

    How do cancer cells survive the low blood supply of the tumor microenvironment? A team led by Broad senior associate member David Sabatini, a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and professor of biology at MIT, recently found that brain cancer cells express high levels of metabolic enzymes SHMT2 and GLDC, and the resulting reduced oxygen consumption gives the cells a survival advantage in poorly vascularized tumor regions. Inhibiting GLDC in SHMT2-overexpressing cells leads to toxic glycine accumulation and may be a possible new avenue for therapeutics. The study was published online by the journal Nature.

  • Broad Institute-MIT team identifies highly efficient new Cas9 for in vivo genome editing

    April 1st, 2015
    New finding is expected to expand therapeutic and experimental applications of CRISPR
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