News Archive

 

Andreas Hochwagen

How yeast chromosomes avoid the bad breaks

August 7, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have discovered how yeast cells protect themselves against a novel type of chromosome fragility that occurs in repeated DNA during meiosis—the cell division that produces spores in fungi or eggs and sperm in plants and animals.

Key metabolic pathway implicated in intractable form of breast cancer

July 18, 2011

Using a new in vivo screening system, Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a protein in a key metabolic pathway that is essential in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer.

Precision gene targeting in stem cells corrects disease-causing mutations

July 14, 2011

Using two distinct methods, Whitehead Institute researchers have successfully and consistently manipulated targeted genes in both human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (adult cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state).

MicroRNAs jumpstart production of obesity-fighting brown fat

July 10, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists have identified the first microRNAs (miRs) that regulate the development of brown fat. Brown fat, which is found in small deposits in the neck, along the shoulders, and down the spine in adult humans, generates heat by burning the lipids. These miRs provide an opportunity to understand better how brown fat develops and may lead to methods for stimulating brown fat production to counter obesity.

Pew Charitable Trust logo

Whitehead Member Mary Gehring named a Pew Scholar

June 14, 2011

The Pew Charitable Trusts has named Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring a 2011 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Scientists discover new component of key growth-regulating signaling pathway

June 10, 2011

Researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Sabatini have identified a previously unknown substrate of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase, called Grb10. Linking Grb10 activity to mTOR provides a more detailed understanding of the function of mTOR and may open up new areas for mTOR research.

Image of epithelial and mesenchymal cells

Signaling pathways point to vulnerability in breast cancer stem cells

June 9, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have identified signals impinging on breast epithelial cells that can induce those cells to acquire and stably display migratory and self-renewing characteristics.

Leucine deprivation proves deadly to malignant melanoma cells

May 16, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have found that depriving human melanoma cells of the amino acid leucine can be lethal to the cells, suggesting a possible strategy for therapeutic intervention. The researchers observed the effect in melanoma cells with a mutation in the RAS/MEK signaling pathway—the most common mutation found in the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Ancient gene gives planarians a heads-up in regeneration

May 12, 2011

A little-studied gene known as notum plays a key role in the planarian’s regeneration decision-making process, according to Whitehead Institute scientists. At head-facing (anterior) wounds, the gene notum acts as a dimmer switch to dampen the Wnt pathway—an ancient signaling circuit that operates in all animals—and promote head regeneration.

Image of a planarian

Pluripotent adult stem cells power planarian regeneration

May 12, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that the planarian flatworm regenerates missing tissues by using pluripotent adult stem cells. Until now, scientists could not determine whether the dividing cells in planarians, called neoblasts, are a mixture of specialized stem cells that each regenerates specific tissues, or if individual neoblasts are pluripotent and able to regenerate all tissues.

Whitehead Member David Bartel elected to National Academy of Sciences

May 3, 2011

The National Academy of Sciences has announced that Whitehead Institute's David Bartel is among 72 new Academy members elected today in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Two unsuspected proteins may hold the key to creating artificial chromosomes

April 28, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists report that two proteins once thought to have only supporting roles, are the true “stars” of the kinetochore assembly process in human cells.

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