Broad research

  • New weapon in an age-old battle

    Ellen Clegg, May 27th, 2011 | Filed under

    It’s a story as old as humankind. Boy (or girl) meets bug, a struggle for dominance ensues, and someone gets hurt.

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  • Psychiatric research accelerates at the Broad

    Leah Eisenstadt, May 18th, 2011 | Filed under

    After a storied career running a multimillion-dollar business, Ted Stanley and his wife, Vada, set up a philanthropic foundation in the 1980s to invest in good causes. Their goals became a lot more focused when their son developed bipolar disorder and needed treatment. The Stanleys considered themselves fortunate that the drug lithium successfully treated his symptoms – and they want to make sure that someday, there is a much wider range of options for others with psychiatric illness.

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  • A suite of tools takes flight

    Haley Bridger, May 16th, 2011 | Filed under

    One summer day, two Broad researchers who had never met before sat next to each other at a lunch table. Moran Yassour, a graduate student in computational biology, and Manfred Grabherr, an engineer turned computational biologist, struck up a conversation about their research interests.

    “I realized, this is the Manfred people have been telling me about,” Moran recalls. “People had told us about each other but we’d never spoken before.”

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  • GenePattern: Data choreographer

    Leah Eisenstadt, May 11th, 2011 | Filed under

    Six years ago, a team of researchers at the Broad faced a challenge: researchers the world over were using microarrays – chips covered with microscopic fragments of DNA – to measure the expression, or activity, of genes, but the tools to analyze the data from these large-scale studies were often out of the direct reach of biomedical researchers.

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  • The life and times of an mRNA molecule

    Haley Bridger, April 26th, 2011 | Filed under

    There’s a lot more happening in your cells than you might think. In a paper published online April 24 in the journal Nature Biotechnology, a team of Broad researchers describe a new technique that allows them to peer into the world of messenger RNA (mRNA), the molecule that carries the instructions for creating a protein to the site where proteins are made. Without mRNA, a gene's instructions will never be translated into a product.

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  • Broad-Harvard team discovers new drug-resistant malaria parasite gene

    Alice McCarthy, April 25th, 2011 | Filed under

    In the 1950s the world’s first coordinated malaria eradication campaign was launched. At the time, insecticides like DDT and the drug chloroquine were highly effective in nearly eliminating malaria from many countries where the disease was endemic – at least for a while. Unfortunately the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, which causes malaria through the bite of an infected mosquito, rapidly outwitted containment measures and again flourishes throughout many regions, including Asia, Africa and South America.

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  • High (school) honors

    Elizabeth Cooney, March 10th, 2011 | Filed under

    Authorship on a scholarly paper is coin of the realm in science. For the first time at the Broad Institute, two young men earned that honor for work they performed as freshly minted summer interns in a program for high-school students.

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  • Broad researchers bring rare variants to light with new technique

    Leah Eisenstadt, March 9th, 2011 | Filed under

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful at discovering common genetic variants that are risk factors for disease or that influence traits. Although more than 1,000 genetic loci, or regions of the genome, have been associated with diseases or traits through GWAS, much of the heritability remains hidden. A disease or trait’s heritability is the degree to which it is inherited, and therefore, influenced by genetic elements; scientists often determine heritability through studies of siblings and twins to tease out genetic and environmental effects.

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  • Advancing personalized medulloblastoma care

    Alice McCarthy, March 3rd, 2011 | Filed under

    Medulloblastoma tumors are the most common type of childhood brain cancer. Each year, about 600 children are diagnosed with the disease. Today, all children with medulloblastoma over age three receive standardized high doses of radiation and chemotherapy. The good news is that this approach produces a cure in about half of the cases. That number reaches up to 80% for those tumor types identified as having a good prognosis. The bad news is that the intellectual costs of irradiating the brain of a child are high.

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  • Neandertal paper wins big

    Leah Eisenstadt, February 22nd, 2011 | Filed under

    In May 2010, a team of scientists including several Broad researchers announced they had completed a draft of the genome sequence of the Neandertal, our closest evolutionary cousin. The study, appearing in the journal Science, was big news among genomic scientists and anthropologists.

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