News Archive

 

Scientists Establish Link Between DNA Replication and Gene Expression

December 12, 2001

Faced with an infection, the human body’s first line of defense is to produce millions of antibodies to neutralize the infection. Orchestrating this defense is the human immune cell called the B cell, which has the amazing ability to produce an army of antibodies, each a replica of the other and each tailor made for a specific infectious agent. In fact, maternal and paternal copies of genes can produce antibodies that are not exact replicas, so the B cell must silence one of them to avoid disorders of the immune system. But how a B cell pulls off this stunt has been a mystery.

Gerry Fink Awarded George W. Beadle Medal

December 12, 2001

Whitehead Member Gerry Fink was recently awarded the 2001 George W. Beadle Medal by the Genetics Society of America. The Beadle award is named in honor of acclaimed geneticist and Nobel Laureate George Wells Beadle.

Eric Lander Wins Novartis/Drew Award

December 12, 2001

Genome Center Director Eric Lander was recently awarded the Novartis/ Drew Award in Biomedical Research. Lander accepted the award on November 27 at a scientific symposium hosted by Drew University in New Jersey.

Scientists Sequence Male Infertility Region on Y Chromosome

November 16, 2001

In a tour de force in genomics, researchers led by the Whitehead Institute and the Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis, Missouri, have sequenced and analyzed one of the most complicated terrains of the human genome. This region on the male sex (Y) chromosome, called AZFc, is important for sperm production and, when lost, causes male infertility.

Scientists Find New Class of Genes Implicated in Protein Regulation

October 26, 2001

David Bartel’s lab at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research reported the exciting discovery of a new class of small genes last month. The genes don’t code for proteins, but instead code for tiny RNAs called "microRNAs" —only 20 to 24 bases long—thought to be important in regulating protein levels. The results were published in the October 26 issue of Science along with two other papers with similar findings, one from Thomas Tuschl’s lab at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the other from Victor Ambros’s lab at Dartmouth Medical School.

Genoscope and Whitehead Announce the Draft Sequence of the Tetraodon Puffer Fish Genome

October 26, 2001

Chalking up another victory for comparative genomics, researchers from Genoscope (The French National Sequencing Center) in Paris, France, and the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research today announced that they have produced a six-fold sequence coverage of Tetraodon nigroviridis, a type of puffer fish whose genome is estimated to be 380 million DNA letters long.

Researchers Identify Pathogen-specific Gene Response in Human Immune Cells

October 25, 2001

Using DNA microarray technology, researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have discovered that a type of human immune cell, known as a dendritic cell, initiates an immune response that is tailor-made for specific infectious organisms. The researchers found that dendritic cells turn on different sets of genes, or a signature pattern of gene response, depending on whether the organism is a bacteria, virus, or fungus. This study shows that even at the earliest stages of infection, the human body knows the nature of the infectious organism, or pathogen, and responds with a specific type of immune response to eliminate the pathogen.

Scientists Find New Player in Cell Death Pathway

October 19, 2001

Research from Robert Weinberg’s lab at the Whitehead Institute has uncovered a much sought after piece of the puzzle of how cells use a protein called p53 to voluntarily die when the cell’s DNA is damaged. In fact, p53 is defective in 50% of human cancers allowing the cells to multiply despite DNA mutations.

Susan L. Lindquist Takes Office as Director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

October 15, 2001

Acclaimed molecular biologist Susan L. Lindquist takes office as director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Susan L. Lindquist – Personal Profile Forever Tango with Science

October 15, 2001

Whitehead Director Susan Lindquist loves to tango. An avid ballroom dancer, who can do the two-step or the waltz, Lindquist likes the Argentine tango best.

Susan L. Lindquist – Scientific Profile

October 15, 2001

Susan L. Lindquist, director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, is best known for ground-breaking work on how such diverse processes as stress tolerance, neurodegenerative disease, and heredity can be governed by changes in protein conformation.

Scientists Build Case for "Haplotype" Map of Human Genome, Find New Gene for Crohn’s Disease

October 3, 2001

In two companion papers this week, researchers from the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research report important findings that set the stage for the next steps in the Human Genome Project—mapping and identifying all the genes that predispose us to common diseases. The studies, one by Mark Daly, Eric Lander, and colleagues, and the other by John Rioux and colleagues at Whitehead Genome Center, provide the impetus for building a “haplotype” map of the genome—a map that will make it easier, faster, and perhaps cheaper to find disease-causing or disease-predisposing genes.

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