News Archive

 

Illustration of scientist looking at tree of life including acoel and planarian

Small worm muscles up to reveal ancient body patterning mechanism during regeneration

October 30, 2017

Whitehead Member Peter Reddien has determined that a major function of muscle in planaria and acoels--a small regenerative marine worm auspiciously located on the evolutionary tree as an outgroup to all the rest of the Bilateria--is to serve as the source of instructive positional information for instructing regeneration.

AudioHelicase: NASA Astronaut and Former Whitehead Fellow Kathleen "Kate" Rubins

October 23, 2017

NASA Astronaut and Former Whitehead Fellow Kathleen "Kate" Rubins discusses her journey from studying pox viruses to sequencing DNA in space.

Image of a breast cancer cell

Stuck on the membrane: A pro-metastatic transcription factor’s journey from anonymity to a promising target for breast cancer therapy

October 20, 2017

Whitehead Member Piyush Gupta has identified a protein stuck in the cell membrane that plays an important role in a cellular pathway crucial for cancer metastasis. The protein is a potential new target for breast cancer therapy that targets the cancer cells' metastatic behavior. 

Illustration of scientist measuring a cell on a scale

Study reveals key molecular link in major cell growth pathway

October 19, 2017

A team of scientists led by Whitehead Institute has uncovered a surprising molecular link that connects how cells regulate growth with how they sense and make available the nutrients required for growth.  The researchers’ findings also implicate a new protein, SLC38A9, as a potential drug target in pancreatic cancer. 

Image of zebrafish

Genetic body/brain connection identified in genomic region linked to autism

October 6, 2017

For the first time, Whitehead Institute scientists have documented a direct link between deletions in two genes—fam57ba and doc2a—in zebrafish and certain brain and body traits, such as seizures, hyperactivity, large head size, and increased fat content. Both genes reside in the 16p11.2 region of the genome, which has been linked to multiple brain and body disorders in humans, including autism spectrum disorder, developmental delays, seizures, and obesity.

Richard Young, Maria Zuber, Kathleen "Kate" Rubins, David Page

Whitehead Connects: An Evening With NASA Astronaut Kathleen Rubins

September 15, 2017

Whitehead Connects was pleased to welcome NASA astronaut and former Whitehead Fellow Kathleen “Kate” Rubins on September 12, 2017.

AudioHelicase Podcast: Whitehead's David Sabatini discusses mTOR, a protein connecting metabolism, nutrition, and disease

September 12, 2017

Whitehead's David Sabatini discusses mTOR, a protein connecting metabolism, nutrition, and disease and the current research in his lab investigating the mTOR pathway and its role in cancer, diabetes, and aging.

Slide of red blood cells

Mystery solved: how thyroid hormone prods red blood cell production

September 5, 2017

For more than a century, the link between thyroid hormone and red blood cell production has remained elusive. Now, Whitehead scientists have teased about the mechanism that connects them, which could help scientists identify new therapies for specific types of anemia.

Landon Clay, Lavinia Clay, and Charles Ellis in front of portrait of Edwin C. "Jack" Whitehead

In Memoriam: Landon T. Clay

July 31, 2017

The Whitehead Institute community has lost Landon Clay, a true friend and an avid supporter of the Institute’s scientific mission and research. 

Whitehead Member David Sabatini

Whitehead Member David Sabatini awarded Dickson Prize in Medicine

July 20, 2017

The prize recognizes “an American biomedical researcher who has made significant, progressive contributions to medicine”.

Diagram of how the control of the translation of mRNAs into proteins shifts as the egg becomes an the embryo

Elegant switch controls translation in transition from egg to embryo

June 14, 2017

The transition from an egg to a developing embryo is one of life’s most remarkable transformations. Now Whitehead Institute researchers have used fruit flies to decipher how one aspect—control of the translation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into proteins—shifts as the egg becomes an the embryo.  This type of switch could tell scientists more about how human cells work and embryos develop.

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