News Archive

 

Illustration of scientist looking at a neuron

Fragile X syndrome neurons restored using CRISPR/Cas9-guided activation strategy

February 15, 2018

Fragile X syndrome is the most frequent cause of intellectual disability in males, affecting 1 out of 3600 boys born. For the first time, researchers at Whitehead Institute have restored activity to the fragile X syndrome gene in affected neurons using a modified CRISPR/Cas9 system they developed.

2017

January 30, 2018

AudioHelicase podcast: Whitehead's Robert Weinberg on cancer research's past, present, and future

January 22, 2018

From his discovery of the first oncogene and tumor suppressor, to his work revealing critical aspects of the mutational basis of cancer, and more recently its metastatic behavior, Whitehead Founding Member Robert Weinberg’s work has been foundational in our understanding of cancer biology.
Image of fish and RNA hairpins

Pairing mismatch helps impaired fish RNA cleavage proceed swimmingly

December 21, 2017

Researchers at Whitehead Institute have uncovered how small changes in the fish Argonaute (Ago) protein, an RNA slicing protein, that happened in its lineage an estimated 300 million years ago greatly diminished the efficiency of RNAi in these animals, while another ancestral feature, in a critical pre-microRNA, was retained that enabled the microRNA to still be produced despite the fish’s impaired Ago protein.

Picture of a golden root plant

Harnessing nature’s riches

December 19, 2017

With unique sustainable engineering method, a team of Whitehead Institute researchers unlocks the biochemistry needed to synthesize key substance from rare medicinal plant.

Images of Arabidopsis seeds

Small RNA mediates genetic parental conflict in seed endosperm

December 19, 2017

When it comes to gene expression in the endosperm of seeds, gene provenance matters. In this specialized tissue, plants actively strive to keep the expression of genes inherited from the mother versus the father in balance, according to Whitehead Institute scientists.

Image of plants with curled leaves due to lack of gene methylation

Epigenetic rheostat helps uncover how gene regulation is inherited and maintained

December 14, 2017

DNA Methylation—the addition of chemical tags to DNA—typically reduces the expression of methylated genes. Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring and her lab have identified a mechanism important for maintaining methylation, that when disrupted, results in the demethylation of large sections of the Arabidopsis plant’s genome.

Illustration of neighborhoods within DNA loops

New study prompts rethinking transcription factor’s role in control of gene expression

December 7, 2017

Like proteins, genomes must fold appropriately to function properly; some transcription factors provide the structural support

Video: David Page speaks at the Simons Center for the Social Brain Lunch Series

December 5, 2017

In October 2017, Whitehead Institute Director David Page presented Sex and Disease: Do males and females read their genomes differently?” at the Simon Center for the Social Brain speakers series. Dr. Page spoke about the comparative genomic and evolutionary studies of the sex chromosomes of humans, other mammals, birds, and reptiles conducted by him and his colleagues.

Fall 2017

November 29, 2017

Published annually, Paradigm magazine reports on Whitehead Institute research, trends in the life sciences, and happenings in the Whitehead community.
Illustration of scientist picking molecules from a tree

Large-scale approach reveals imperfect actor in plant biotechnology

November 27, 2017

Whitehead researchers detect the chemical ‘mistakes’ of common herbicide-resistance enzyme, successfully re-engineer it for enhanced precision

Image of planarians

Surprising roles for muscle in tissue regeneration, study finds

November 22, 2017

Whitehead Member Peter Reddien pinpoints distinct muscle subsets that orchestrate and pattern regrowth

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