Tag: Sive Lab

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.

Jaw-dropping research explains mouth formation during embryonic development

August 2, 2016

Whitehead Institute researchers have identified an area in the developing face of embryonic frogs that unzips to form the mouth. The scientists, who named this region the “pre-mouth array”, have also discovered the cellular signaling that triggers its formation. Elucidating this critical aspect of craniofacial development in a model organism enhances understanding of and potential treatment for human facial birth defects.

Implanting beads coated with Bradykinin peptides prevents the abnormal facial phenotypes seen after loss of function in kininogen, part of the Kinin-Kallikreien pathway.

A region and pathway found crucial for facial development in vertebrate embryos

July 17, 2014

A signaling pathway once thought to have little if any role during embryogenesis is a key player in the formation of the front-most portion of developing vertebrate embryos. Moreover, signals emanating from this region—referred to as the “extreme anterior domain” (EAD)—orchestrate the complex choreography that gives rise to proper facial structure.

Images of zebrafish brain development

Fishing for answers to autism puzzle

June 19, 2012

A team of Whitehead Institute and MIT scientists has shown that zebrafish can be a useful tool for studying the genes that contribute to such disorders.

What's in a name? Broadening the biological lexicon to bolster translational research

March 9, 2011

So-called model organisms have long been at the core of biomedical research, allowing scientists to study the ins and outs of human disorders in non-human subjects.

Imges of normal and mutated zebrafish brain ventricles

"Relaxation" a critical step in vertebrate brain development

February 10, 2010

Normal vertebrate brain ventricle formation relies upon the stretchiness or “relaxation” of the neuroepithelium, which is regulated by the motor protein myosin. This process was discovered in zebrafish and may play a role in the proper expansion of tubes in other organs throughout development.

Opening the primary mouth with Wnt antagonists

May 4, 2009

Whitehead researchers have identified a novel mechanism that operates during formation of the “primary mouth”, the first opening between the outside of the embryo and the intestine.

image of zebrafish brain

Brain development takes an unexpected bend

November 3, 2008

A previously undescribed molecular mechanism for changing the shape of cell sheets is demonstrated in the embryonic brain, using the zebrafish model. This process, termed "basal constriction", is likely to occur in different structures during development in all animals.

Hazel Sive named associate dean of MIT School of Science

June 11, 2007

Her new role she will focus on educational issues and initiatives.

New Gene May Help Scientists Understand More About How the Body Grows

April 3, 1999

Scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Genetics Institute, Inc. have identified a new gene called derriere that plays a key role in the development of the frog embryo from the neck down, including the neural tube and the muscles flanking the spinal cord. Embryos lacking derriere gene function developed normal heads but only had disorganized tissue where the trunk and tail should have been. Scientists conclude that derriere controls the formation of the posterior regions of the embryo-that is, the entire body from the neck down.

Novel Assay Provides Researchers a Key Tool to Study Nervous System Development

June 6, 1996

For the first time, scientists have isolated embryonic tissue from zebrafish and successfully grown the tissue in culture. This assay will offer scientists a long-sought and powerful research tool, allowing them to study early development in ways that are not possible with other model organisms like frogs, mice, or chicks. Using this culture, the scientists also found key genes involved in the formation of the zebrafish nervous system.

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