News Archive

 

Forks colliding: How DNA breaks during re-replication

June 4, 2015

Leveraging a novel system designed to examine the double-strand DNA breaks that occur as a consequence of gene amplification during DNA replication, Whitehead Institute scientists are bringing new clarity to the causes of such genomic damage. Moreover, because errors arising during DNA replication and gene amplification result in chromosomal abnormalities often found in malignant cells, these new findings may bolster our understandings of certain drivers of cancer progression.

Image of human red blood cells

Repurposed anti-cholesterol drug could improve treatment-resistant anemias

May 11, 2015

Using a mouse model, the lab of Whitehead Institute Founding Member Harvey Lodish, has now determined that combining the cholesterol-lowering drug fenofibrate with glucocorticoids could allow for dramatically lower steroid doses in the treatment of  Diamond Blackfan anemia and other erythropoietin-resistant anemias.

Image of cells with and without RUNX1 turned on

Scientists identify gene required for differentiation of breast stem cells

May 6, 2015

Scientists have applied a new method of analyzing cell states to identify a gene required for breast stem cells to differentiate. This gene, RUNX1, is deregulated or mutated in some leukemias and breast cancers. The novel approach, known as PEACS, could also be used to screen for drugs that activate or inhibit the expression regulators of stem cell differentiation.

Whitehead’s Susan Lindquist elected to UK’s Royal Society

May 1, 2015

The UK’s Royal Society today announced that it has elected Whitehead Institute’s Susan Lindquist as a Foreign Member.

Whitehead Founding Member Rudolf Jaenisch

Whitehead’s Rudolf Jaenisch honored with March of Dimes Prize

April 27, 2015

The prize honors Jaenisch’s groundbreaking body of work in epigenetics, the development of transgenic animals, and the generation and use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

Image showing tumors

Imaging immunity: Noninvasive imaging of immune system detects tumors, could monitor therapeutic response

April 20, 2015

A novel approach that allows real-time imaging of the immune system’s response to the presence of tumors—without the need for blood draws or invasive biopsies—offers a potential breakthrough both in diagnostics and in the ability to monitor efficacy of cancer therapies.

Whitehead Member Jing-Ke Weng

Whitehead Member Jing-Ke Weng named a Searle Scholar

April 14, 2015

Whitehead Institute Member Jing-Ke Weng is among 15 young scientists nationwide to be named a 2015 Searle Scholar.

Image of brain samples showing gene activity in ischemic areas

Biologists identify brain tumor weakness

April 8, 2015

Biologists at Whitehead Institute and MIT have discovered a vulnerability of brain cancer cells that could be exploited to develop more-effective drugs against brain tumors.

Image of red and white yeast colonies

CRISPR-Cas genome editing of Candida albicans holds promise for overcoming deadly fungal infections

April 3, 2015

Candida albicans is a human pathogen that causes potentially lethal infections in immunocompromised individuals. Efforts to overcome Candida’s innate resistance to many drugs have been thwarted by an absence of tools enabling genetic modifications. Now, using a modified CRISPR-Cas system, Whitehead Institute researchers can edit the fungus’s genome systematically—an approach that could help scientists understand Candida’s unique biology and identify potential drug targets.

Dividing human mammary stem cells

Age discrimination during cell division maintains the ‘stem’ in stem cells

April 2, 2015

A team of Whitehead Institute scientists has discovered that during division, stem cells distinguish between old and young mitochondria and allocate them disproportionately between daughter cells.

Diagram of how Scr7 improves CRISPR/Cas

Refined CRISPR/Cas genome editing accelerates generation of transgenic mice

March 23, 2015

Although the genome editing system known as CRISPR/Cas has revolutionized genetic research in cell lines, its overall efficiency has been relatively poor when used to generate genetically altered animals for disease modeling.  Now Whitehead Institute scientists have altered the approach in a manner that could accelerate the production of mice carrying precise mutations of multiple genes.

Transmembrane protein SLC38A9 appears to act as a nutrients sensor for the mTORC1 metabolic pathway

Scientists identify first nutrient sensor in key growth-regulating metabolic pathway

January 7, 2015

Scientists in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Sabatini have for the first time identified a protein that appears to be a nutrient sensor for the key growth-regulating mTORC1 metabolic pathway. 

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