• Visualizing the cancer genome

    Haley Bridger, September 12th, 2011 | Filed under

    Nico Stransky was getting frustrated. A computational biologist working in the Broad’s Cancer Program, Nico was trying to see patterns in the data from the recently sequenced genomes of 70 tumor samples from patients with head and neck cancer. In the study, scientists sequenced the exomes, or protein-coding, portions of the tumor genomes and analyzed the data to reveal mutations in a variety of forms that disrupt the “spelling” of genes in different ways. But the tables of mutation statistics that Nico was looking at could not tell him the full story.

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  • Filling in the voids

    Haley Bridger, December 1st, 2010 | Filed under

    Our brains are adept at using visual cues to fill in missing information and make continuous shapes out of discrete pieces. For instance, in an illusion known as the Kanizsa triangle, three ‘Pac-Man’ shapes form what appears to be a triangle as our mind fills in a shape that isn’t actually there. In his latest Points of View column in Nature Methods, the Broad Institute’s creative director Bang Wong describes ways scientists can use graphics and text to play off of these principles of visual completion and continuity.

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  • Gestalt principles of visual grouping

    Alice McCarthy, November 1st, 2010 | Filed under

    Gestalt principles of perception are theories proposed by German psychologists in the 1920s to explain how people organize visual information. In his monthly column in Nature Methods, the Broad's Creative Director, Bang Wong, explains how Gestalt psychology is often at the root of how visual images are seen and interpreted.

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  • In the blink of an eye

    Ellen Clegg, October 29th, 2010 | Filed under

    On the cover of Cell this week: Broad Creative Director Bang Wong makes a neural network look like artwork in order to illustrate a paper by Associate Member Alice Ting and Amar Thyagarajan, both at MIT. The paper reports on a method of imaging protein interactions and synapse activity in neurons, or nerve cells in the brain.

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  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    Alice McCarthy, October 28th, 2010 | Filed under

    At the Beyond the Genome workshop held here in Boston a few weeks back, this image of the Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx was posted in a presentation on next-generation cancer genomics. The presenter, Elaine Mardis, co-director of The Genome Center at Washington University, gave the keynote for the session on sequencing cancer and complex disease genomes.

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  • A salient feature

    Haley Bridger, October 1st, 2010 | Filed under

    The Broad's creative director Bang Wong writes about visual salience -- that quality that makes objects "pop" off the page -- in his column for this month's issue of Nature Methods. Salience allows viewers to spot trends and patterns in data faster and process multiple features of the data. Understanding how salience works could help scientists communicate information in figures as well as in presentations.

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