News Archive

 

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

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

AudioHelicase logo and Whitehead Member Sebastian Lourido

AudioHelicase: Whitehead’s Sebastian Lourido on Toxoplasma, malaria parasites, and global health

November 20, 2017

Whitehead Member Sebastian Lourido discusses his work uncovering how the Toxoplasma parasite causes disease and the importance of understanding parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis and malaria in the context of global health.

Image of a cell in anaphase

Of highways, engines, and chromosomes

November 16, 2017

Whitehead researchers unravel fundamental molecular machinery that propels chromosome movement

Illustration of scientist opening a cell and looking at a molecule

Key nutrient sensor identified for cellular pathway linking nutrient availability to cell growth

November 9, 2017

Whitehead Member David Sabatini has identified the methionine sensor in the mTOR pathway, which is a crucial metabolic pathway in cells. His work provides interesting data suggesting that the anti-aging and anti-diabetes effects of low methionine and mTOR inhibition may be connected.

Image of mouse spermatocyte, which is the source of retinoic acid

Retinoic acid regulates transitions in mouse sperm production

November 7, 2017

Researchers swimming upstream in reproductive technology work now have important insights into sperm production

Image of red algae and Roland Kersten on Ventura beach

A new workflow for natural product characterization comes ashore with red algae

October 30, 2017

Whitehead Member Jing-Ke Weng uses an omics-based path for identifying and generating sesquiterpene-based therapeutics at scale.

Illustration of scientist looking at tree of life including acoel and planarian

Small worm muscles up to reveal ancient body patterning mechanism during regeneration

October 30, 2017

Whitehead Member Peter Reddien has determined that a major function of muscle in planaria and acoels--a small regenerative marine worm auspiciously located on the evolutionary tree as an outgroup to all the rest of the Bilateria--is to serve as the source of instructive positional information for instructing regeneration.

Images of the International Space Station and NASA Astronaut Kathleen "Kate" Rubins

AudioHelicase: NASA Astronaut and Former Whitehead Fellow Kathleen "Kate" Rubins

October 23, 2017

NASA Astronaut and Former Whitehead Fellow Kathleen "Kate" Rubins discusses her journey from studying pox viruses to sequencing DNA in space.

Image of a breast cancer cell

Stuck on the membrane: A pro-metastatic transcription factor’s journey from anonymity to a promising target for breast cancer therapy

October 20, 2017

Whitehead Member Piyush Gupta has identified a protein stuck in the cell membrane that plays an important role in a cellular pathway crucial for cancer metastasis. The protein is a potential new target for breast cancer therapy that targets the cancer cells' metastatic behavior. 

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