Science

19 stories

Two years in, the team behind the ClinVar database has published a progress report New England Journal of Medicine. They argue that the shared approach is working — doctors and researchers are using the database — and they are advocating for more companies and groups to join the effort to reach a more comprehensive understanding of the variants in disease genes. In particular, they’re challenging companies to be more open with their data, instead of keeping it to themselves.More →

Panos Panay, chief of the school’s year-old Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, sought out PureTech’s Sync Project after he heard its founders introduce their idea at SXSW this past March. Sync’s goal is to bring together neuroscientists who study music and the mind, and companies that track biometric data like heart-rate and body temperature. Together, the team would have unique, data-rich insights into how Beyonce’s latest track influences your heart rate, for example, or how Taylor Swift’s new album could shift your blood pressure.More →

You may keep your Taylor Swift obsession hidden from your co-workers, but not from science.

A new research initiative called the Sync Project aims to track how the brain and body respond to music through an app that collects biological data while your favorite jams stream on loop. So when a person plugs in their headphones and heads to work, their activity tracker on their wrist will be able to see how their heart rate changes when Swift’s “Shake It Off” transitions to One Directions’ “Steal My Girl.”More →

An ultra-thin Macbook laptop and the Apple Watch were the stars of Apple’s Monday media event in San Francisco. But the company also introduced a new suite of apps for the iPhone that could turn the device into a research tool and transform the way researchers study disease.

Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute were among the partners who worked with Apple on the five inaugural research apps. They will track asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, and were built with Apple’s new tool, ResearchKit.More →

A little after noon on Wednesday last week, two technicians from the Cambridge Police Department crime lab arrived at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, kits in tow.

But the famed center was not the scene of a crime. Rather, it was hosting a four-day vacation science camp for middle-schoolers, and the two crime-lab techs were participating in a session called “Get A Clue” to introduce 22 adolescents to scientific skills such as microscopy and dissections.

And to make the session all the more engaging for the kids, the Whitehead and its partner in the program, the educational group Science from Scientists, had cooked up a whodunit: the theft of a candy recipe they would solve using technical sleuthing taught by real-life CSI types.More →