News Archive

 

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.

Researchers Build Diagram of Cell Cycle Clock

September 28, 2001

For the first time, researchers at the Whitehead Institute have mapped the complete circuit of one of life's most fundamental processes—the cell cycle, which tells cells when to divide. This network diagram describes the genetic switches and connections that form the circuit common to a process found in all living organisms, from bacteria to human beings. The findings were published in the September 21 issue of Cell by Whitehead Member Richard Young and his colleagues.

Susan Lindquist Elected Director of the Whitehead Institute

August 6, 2001

Acclaimed molecular biologist Susan L. Lindquist was today appointed director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. A pioneering researcher with an interdisciplinary bent, Lindquist comes to the Whitehead from the University of Chicago where she is the Albert D. Lasker Professor of Medical Sciences, a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Lindquist succeeds Whitehead’s two previous directors, Nobel laureate David Baltimore and yeast genetics pioneer Gerald Fink.

New Study Shows Normal-Looking Clones May Be Abnormal

July 5, 2001

Scientists have found the first evidence to show that even seemingly normal-looking clones may harbor serious abnormalities affecting gene expression that may not manifest themselves as outward characteristics. The findings, reported in the July 6 issue of Science by researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and University of Hawaii, confirm the previous suspicion that reproductive cloning is not only inefficient, but may actually be unsafe.

Study Offers Insights into Evolutionary Origins of Life; Artificial Enzyme Able to Synthesize RNA

May 17, 2001

In some of the strongest evidence yet to support the RNA world—an era in early evolution when life forms depended on RNA—scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have created an RNA catalyst, or a ribozyme, that possesses some of the key properties needed to sustain life in such a world.

New Finding Accelerates Discovery of Disease Genes and Human Population History

May 9, 2001

In an exciting new development, scientists at the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research have found that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in northern Europeans—the single letter DNA differences that underlie disease susceptibility and individual variation—travel together in blocks that are much larger than previously thought. The finding has major implications for mapping disease genes and dissecting human population history.

Scientists Track Down the Root of Cloning Problems

May 1, 2001

Despite technological advances, two major problems continue to plague the field of animal cloning: few clones survive to term and those that do are often grotesquely large. The root of these problems has remained a mystery until now.

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