News Archive

 

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Whitehead Member Mary Gehring named a Pew Scholar

June 14, 2011

The Pew Charitable Trusts has named Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring a 2011 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Scientists discover new component of key growth-regulating signaling pathway

June 10, 2011

Researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Sabatini have identified a previously unknown substrate of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase, called Grb10. Linking Grb10 activity to mTOR provides a more detailed understanding of the function of mTOR and may open up new areas for mTOR research.

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Signaling pathways point to vulnerability in breast cancer stem cells

June 9, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have identified signals impinging on breast epithelial cells that can induce those cells to acquire and stably display migratory and self-renewing characteristics.

Leucine deprivation proves deadly to malignant melanoma cells

May 16, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have found that depriving human melanoma cells of the amino acid leucine can be lethal to the cells, suggesting a possible strategy for therapeutic intervention. The researchers observed the effect in melanoma cells with a mutation in the RAS/MEK signaling pathway—the most common mutation found in the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Ancient gene gives planarians a heads-up in regeneration

May 12, 2011

A little-studied gene known as notum plays a key role in the planarian’s regeneration decision-making process, according to Whitehead Institute scientists. At head-facing (anterior) wounds, the gene notum acts as a dimmer switch to dampen the Wnt pathway—an ancient signaling circuit that operates in all animals—and promote head regeneration.

Image of a planarian

Pluripotent adult stem cells power planarian regeneration

May 12, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that the planarian flatworm regenerates missing tissues by using pluripotent adult stem cells. Until now, scientists could not determine whether the dividing cells in planarians, called neoblasts, are a mixture of specialized stem cells that each regenerates specific tissues, or if individual neoblasts are pluripotent and able to regenerate all tissues.

Whitehead Member David Bartel elected to National Academy of Sciences

May 3, 2011

The National Academy of Sciences has announced that Whitehead Institute's David Bartel is among 72 new Academy members elected today in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Two unsuspected proteins may hold the key to creating artificial chromosomes

April 28, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists report that two proteins once thought to have only supporting roles, are the true “stars” of the kinetochore assembly process in human cells.

Whitehead Institute Director honored with March of Dimes Prize

April 21, 2011

Whitehead Institute Director David Page has been named a recipient of the 2011 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. The prize honors Page’s groundbreaking body of research on the human Y chromosome.

Scientists ignore cultural barriers to find the cause of a rare disease

April 11, 2011

In a research collaboration blind to affairs of politics, ethnicity, and religion, an international team led by Israeli scientists has identified the genetic cause of a neurological disorder afflicting members of a Palestinian family.

Scientists identify a surprising new source of cancer stem cells

April 11, 2011

Certain differentiated cells in breast tissue can spontaneously convert to a stem-cell-like state, according to Whitehead Institute researchers. Until now, scientific dogma has stated that differentiation is a one-way path; once cells specialize, they cannot return to the flexible stem-cell state on their own.

Whitehead scientist helps revisit "Hallmarks of Cancer"

March 16, 2011

Renowned cancer researchers Robert Weinberg and Douglas Hanahan and have updated the “Hallmarks of Cancer”, their seminal review that codified the traits that all cancers have in common.  The original article has greatly influenced scientists, both in and outside cancer research. The revised work incorporates information gleaned from the past eleven years of cancer research and is expected to have a profound impact on the study of cancer and the quest for approaches to treat it.

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