News Archive

 

Diagram comparing enhancers and super-enhancers of two cell types

Genetic master controls expose cancers’ Achilles’ heel

April 11, 2013

In a surprising finding that helps explain fundamental behaviors of normal and diseased cells, Whitehead Institute scientists have discovered a set of powerful gene regulators dubbed “super-enhancers” that control cell state and identity.

Best Places to Work logo

For third year running, Whitehead Institute takes top place for postdocs

April 1, 2013

In the final year of the “Best Places to Work: Postdocs” ranking, Whitehead Institute has again come out on top. This is the fourth time in 10 years that Whitehead has emerged as number one—more than any other institution in the history of the rankings, published annually by The Scientist magazine.

Model for a function for Mot3 prion switching in teh repiro-fermentative cycle of wine yeasts

Protective prion keeps yeast cells from going it alone

March 28, 2013

A team of scientists from Whitehead Institute and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has added markedly to the job description of prions as agents of change, identifying a prion capable of triggering a transition in yeast from its conventional single-celled form to a cooperative, multicellular structure. This change, which appears to improve yeast’s chances for survival in the face of hostile environmental conditions, is an epigenetic phenomenon—a heritable alteration brought about without any change to the organism’s underlying genome.

Whitehead Institute Founding Member Robert Weinberg

Whitehead’s Weinberg among those earning cancer research group’s highest honor

March 25, 2013

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is including Whitehead Institute Founding Member Robert Weinberg in its inaugural class of Fellows of the AACR Academy.

Whitehead Institute Founding Member Robert Weinberg

Whitehead’s Robert Weinberg to receive new Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

February 20, 2013

Whitehead Institute Founding Member Robert Weinberg is among 11 scientists to receive the new Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, intended to recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life.

Model of mitochondrion

Engineering cells for more efficient biofuel production

February 17, 2013

Whitehead Institute and MIT chemical engineers and biologists have now devised a way to dramatically boost isobutanol production in yeast, which naturally make it in small amounts. They engineered yeast so that isobutanol synthesis takes place entirely within mitochondria, cell structures that generate energy and also host many biosynthetic pathways.

Long noncoding RNAs control development of fat cells

February 13, 2013

Whitehead Institute researchers report that 10 long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a vital role in the regulation of white fat cells. When each of these lncRNAs is individually knocked down, fat precursor cells fail to mature into white fat cells and have significantly reduced lipid droplets compared with white fat cells with unmodified lncRNA function.

Diagrm of transcription of mRNA and lncRNA that start at the same location

Paired genes in stem cells shed new light on gene organization and regulation

February 4, 2013

Research from Whitehead Institute shows that transcription at the active promoters of protein-coding genes commonly runs in opposite directions. This leads to coordinate production of both protein-coding messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs).

Whitehead Founding Member Gerald Fink

Whitehead Founding Member Gerald Fink announced as President-elect of AAAS

January 25, 2013

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today announced that Whitehead Institute Founding Member Gerald R. Fink has been chosen as its President-elect for 2013.

Information security image

Scientists expose new vulnerabilities in the security of personal genetic information

January 17, 2013

Using only a computer, an Internet connection, and publicly accessible online resources, a team of Whitehead Institute researchers has been able to identify nearly 50 individuals who had submitted personal genetic material as participants in genomic studies. 

Representation of MHV-68

Modified antibodies trigger immune response, point to novel vaccine design strategies

January 7, 2013

In an approach with the potential to aid therapeutic vaccine development, Whitehead Institute scientists have shown that enzymatically modified antibodies can be used to generate highly targeted, potent responses from cells of the immune system.

Image of autophage markers in cells with and without RagA activated

Nutrient-sensing enzymes key to starvation response and survival in newborn mammals

December 23, 2012

One enzyme, RagA, has been found to regulate the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway in cells according to glucose and amino acid availability. When this regulation breaks down in fasting newborn mice, the animals suffer a nutritional crisis and die.

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