December 12, 2013
Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, which identified nearly 20,000 protein-coding genes, scientists have been trying to decipher the roles of those genes. A new approach developed at MIT, the Broad Institute, and the Whitehead Institute should speed up the process by allowing researchers to study the entire genome at once.
December 12, 2013
A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School and Whitehead Institute report that, at least in the case of one variety of cavefish, one agent of evolutionary change is the heat shock protein known as HSP90.
November 27, 2013
November 7, 2013
Whitehead Institute scientists report that the gene mutated in the rare hereditary disorder known as Birt-Hogg-Dubé cancer syndrome prevents activation of mTORC1, a critical nutrient-sensing and growth-regulating cellular pathway.
Understanding the evolution of drug resistance points to novel strategy for developing better antimicrobials
October 29, 2013
The most common fungal pathogen in humans, Candida albicans, rarely develops resistance to the antifungal drug amphotericin B (AmB). This has been puzzling as the drug has been in clinical use for over 50 years. Whitehead Institute scientists have now discovered why. The genetic mutations that enable certain strains of C. albicans to resist AmB simultaneously render it highly susceptible to environmental stressors and disarm its virulence factors.
October 24, 2013
Using a discovery platform whose components range from yeast cells to human stem cells, Whitehead Institute scientists have identified a novel Parkinson’s disease drug target and a compound capable of repairing neurons derived from Parkinson’s patients.
October 19, 2013
Revealing influenza’s truly insidious nature, Whitehead Institute scientists have discovered that the virus is able to infect its host by first killing off the cells of the immune system that are actually best equipped to neutralize the virus.
October 10, 2013
Having recently discovered a set of powerful gene regulators that control cell identity in a few mouse and human cell types, Whitehead Institute scientists are now showing that these regulators—which they named “super-enhancers”—act across a vast array of human cell types and are enriched in mutated regions of the genome that are closely associated with a broad spectrum of diseases.
October 3, 2013
Whitehead Institute researchers have discovered that the protein product of the gene MECP2, which is mutated in about 95% of Rett syndrome patients, is a global activator of neuronal gene expression. Mutations in the protein can cause decreased gene transcription, reduced protein synthesis, and severe defects in the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.
September 30, 2013
Whitehead Fellows Sebastian Lourido and David Pincus have each been named a recipient of a 2013 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Early Independence Award, aimed at accelerating the careers of exceptionally creative junior scientists.
September 18, 2013
A new study from a team of Whitehead and MIT researchers reveals a gene that is critical to the process of memory extinction. Enhancing the activity of this gene, known as Tet1, might benefit people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by making it easier to replace fearful memories with more positive associations.
September 3, 2013
By investigating regeneration in planarian flatworms, Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a mechanism—involving the interplay of two wound-induced genes—by which the animal can distinguish between wounds that require regeneration and those that do not.