News Archive


Venn diagram

Researchers discover key to embryonic stem-cell potential

September 8, 2005

Researchers working with human embryonic stem cells have uncovered the process responsible for the single-most tantalizing characteristic of these cells: their ability to become just about any type of cell in the body, a trait known as pluripotency.

Researchers discover why melanoma is so malignant

September 5, 2005

Whitehead researchers discover that, unlike other cancers, melanoma is born with its metastatic engines fully revved.

Human Y chromosome stays intact while chimp Y loses genes

August 31, 2005

The human and the chimpanzee Y chromosomes went their separate ways approximately 6 million years ago. But ever since this evolutionary parting, these two chromosomes have experienced different fates, ne research indicates.

Study yields insights into pathogenic fungi—and beer

August 8, 2005

Chemotherapy or organ transplantation not only take a huge toll on patients, but they can compromise the immune system and leave patients vulnerable to infections from microbes such as pathogenic fungi—the fastest-growing cause of hospital-acquired infections.

New Whitehead scientist uncovers the regenerative secrets of flatworms

July 20, 2005

Chop a planarian flatworm in half and you end up with two healthy, wiggly worms. Unfortunately, not so with a lab mouse or fruit fly. Peter Reddien, who joins the Whitehead faculty as Associate Member this August after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah, is determined to find out why.

Whitehead’s Sabatini named “Distinguished Young Scholar” by W.M. Keck Foundation

July 13, 2005

Whitehead Associate Member David Sabatini has been chosen by the W.M. Keck Foundation as one of this year’s grant recipients under the Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research program.

The double life of Christopher Hug

July 6, 2005

Splitting their time between lab and clinic, Whitehead physician-scientists bring research and reassurance to patients.

Photo: David Bartel and Lubomir Nechev

Knockout punch: the promise of RNAi

June 28, 2005

Deep in your DNA, a gene has gone haywire and is driving up the production of a protein that is messing with your body. Wouldn’t it be great to sift through all your 20,000-something genes, find the offender, and swat it like a fly? Fortunately, a new technique eventually could do just that.

Image: Diagram of how insulin aids glucose absorption

Fat chance: the biology of obesity

June 22, 2005

Better understanding of fat-cell hormones will help us attack the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Harvey Lodish, a Founding Whitehead Member and professor of biology at MIT, has pioneered this field.

David Bartel honored by French academy

June 15, 2005

Whitehead Institute Member David Bartel is one of two scientists to receive the annual Louis-D. Prize from the Institut de France, an organization similar in many respects to the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

Photo:  Edward Kennedy and David Page

Kennedy brings stem cell quest to Whitehead

June 15, 2005

The United States should follow the lead of Massachusetts in legalizing responsible human embryonic stem cell research, Senator Edward Kennedy declared on June 2 at Whitehead.

Image: Diagrams of protein fibers

Unweaving amyloid fibers to solve prion puzzles

June 8, 2005

Amyloid fibers are best known as the plaque that gunks up neurons in people with neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease—the human analog of mad cow disease. But even though amyloids are common and implicated in a host of conditions, researchers haven’t been able to identify their precise molecular structures.


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