News Archive


Prions Offer Nanotech Building Tool

March 31, 2003

The same characteristics that make misfolded proteins known as prions such a pernicious medical threat in neurodegenerative diseases may offer a construction toolkit for manufacturing nanoscale electrical circuits, researchers report this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Screening Technique Streamlines Search for Anticancer Drug

March 25, 2003

Most cancer patients face an all or nothing dilemma. Aggressive chemotherapy can and often does kill cancerous cells, shrink tumors and increase a patient’s chance for survival. But chemo’s toxic chemicals kill healthy cells too, causing severe side effects like anemia, organ damage and even memory loss.

Inactive genes may contribute to failure of animals cloned from adult cells, study finds

March 20, 2003

Only 1 percent to 3 percent of animals cloned from adult cells survive to birth; many die mysteriously very early in development, around the time of implantation.

Researchers Develop Strategy to Predict Mutations Involved in Cancer Drug Resistance

March 20, 2003

Researchers have devised a way to identify genetic mutations that will cause resistance to targeted anti-cancer drugs, even before patients are treated – a finding that will aid scientists involved in drug development and allow physicians to monitor patients for resistance problems before they occur.

Bartel research team wins prestigious AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

February 16, 2003

The discovery of micro-sized RNA molecules (miRNAs)—a breakthrough described as "the biological equivalent of dark matter, all around us but almost escaping detection"—earned the coveted 2001-2002 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

Statistics Show Strengths and Weaknesses of Genetics-Common Disease Studies

February 12, 2003

When the $100M HapMap project was announced late last year, it stoked a decades-long debate surrounding the “common-disease, common variant” hypothesis. Can hunting for links between common genetic variants and common diseases help reveal why some individuals are more susceptible to common diseases like diabetes and hypertension than others?

Harnessing the power of SiRNA

February 11, 2003

Whitehead Institute recently released for public use a new computational tool that can help researchers more precisely silence gene function, streamlining drug discovery and disease research efforts.

Beyond the Double Helix: Spring Lecture Series at the Museum of Science

January 23, 2003

Save the dates for this year's spring lecture series at the Boston Museum of Science, March 5, 12, and 19. This year's series, "Beyond the Double Helix," will feature Whitehead researchers who are taking a variety of new approaches to elucidate how genes and proteins coordinate cell activity and, in some cases, cause disease.

Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Maxine Singer Join Whitehead Leadership

January 21, 2003

On January 1, the Whitehead Institute welcomed Lydia Villa-Komaroff and Maxine Singer to its leadership ranks. Villa-Komaroff was named Vice President of Research and Chief Operating Officer for the Whitehead Institute; Singer assumed the Chairmanship of the Institute's Board of Directors.

Biotech 2010: Vision for the Future

January 13, 2003

Massachusetts can seize the opportunity to achieve global leadership in the life-sciences economy if the Commonwealth takes a more active state role in the promotion and support of biotechnology, according to a new report issued this month by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC) and the Boston Consulting Group.

From Seashells to Nanocomputers

December 12, 2002

What can a humble seashell tell us about how to build biocomputers at the nanoscale level—50,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair? Plenty, according to Angela M. Belcher, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Bioengineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Mouse Genome and the Measure of Man

December 4, 2002

The Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research and the International Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium today announced the publication of the genetic blueprint of a mouse together with insights gleaned from comparing mouse and human sequences.


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