Research Spotlight

Prioritization is an important skill in life, ensuring that the most important tasks are completed first -- turns out the body prioritizes immune response over emotional health.

Cancer is an ever-present scourge in modern society. More than 1.6 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer in 2016, and it is estimated to cost American citizens more than $156 billion annually by 2020. Understanding how a tumor changes through time and recurs after surgery or treatment, as well as what types of drugs best kill the tumor, are essential for improving human cancer therapies. Frequently, mouse models of cancer are used to study the disease and evaluate possible therapeutics, but a recent study from the Broad Institute Cancer Program demonstrates that mouse models do not represent human tumor evolution as well as thought, and these models may yield false-positive drug responses.
Scientists are making discoveries that give hope to global improvements in healthy pregnancies. The immune system is naturally primed to prevent invaders from thriving in the human body. Pregnancy presents an interesting challenge where immunity must balance defense and fetal tolerance — the fetus is foreign but must thrive. A mother reconfigures her own own defense system, constantly, as the fetus grows and changes.

For years we have known that spaceflight causes immune dysfunction, weakening the human body’s ability to fight off even the common cold.

Image of a handheld glucometer, continuous glucose monitor, and insulin pump.

Electronic monitoring and storing of health data is all of the rage right now. Many of us track the number of steps we take with our mobile phones or smart watches, log food consumption, and measure our heart rate. But would you trust a mobile health app to decide when you should receive a life saving, but in some cases, life threatening, drug? For diabetics, this possibility is approaching reality.

Our DNA fits into our cells by tightly coiling into structures called chromosomes. During cell division, the machinery that is responsible for DNA replication cannot replicate the very ends of chromosomes, so some genetic information may be lost d

In the fight against cancer, harnessing the natural defense mechanisms within the human body is gaining promise. Termed cancer immunotherapy, researchers have discovered ways to bolster the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells.

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are,” Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1826.

What you consume not only affects the health and appearance of your body, but also the integrity of the mind.

Nearly 73,000 adults will be diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016, and for more than one third, their tumor will be declared incurable. Large, collaborative efforts like The Cancer Genome Atlas have helped scientists better understand the genetic changes that define primary tumors, but this information alone is not enough to beat cancer.
In human cells, three billion base pairs arrange themselves into sequences of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs to form genes. However, despite its large size, only 1% to 2% of the human genome is actually organized into genes. So, what does the remaining, mysterious, 98% of the human genome do?