Tag: Evolution + Development

Within the folds, outside the box

October 26, 2005

Feverishly hot climates. Dizzying alcohol and sugar binges. Heavy metals. Toxic drugs. Genetic mutations. Over the years, yeast, fruit flies, mustard plants and mice have struggled through their own versions of an extreme reality TV show in the laboratory of Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist.

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.

Branching out

April 14, 2004

Whitehead biologist Steve Rozen has explored the family tree of the male-determing Y chromosome, looking for information about a genetic mutation that raises interesting questions about the evolution of the Y.

Study answers questions on ancestry of yeast genome

March 8, 2004

In work that may lead to a better understanding of genetic diseases, researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT, Harvard University and Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research show that baker’s yeast was created hundreds of millions of years ago when its ancestor temporarily became a kind of super-organism with twice the usual number of chromosomes and increased potential to evolve.

Studies Examine Development in Drosophila

February 11, 2004

Two studies by scientists in the lab of Whitehead Member Terry Orr-Weaver that shed light on developmental strategies of Drosophila were published in recent issues of the journals Developmental Cell and Current Biology.

Study Identifies Protein Complex Critical in Rapid Embryogenesis

December 11, 2003

For scientists who study embryonic development, insects, amphibians and marine invertebrates provide a unique window on the early stages of an embryo’s life. These organisms differ from higher life forms by having a simpler system for cell division, but it’s a system on fast forward: The embryos receive a maternal care package that permits their DNA replication and chromosome segregation to go into overdrive.

MicroRNAs Play a Role in Blood Formation, Study Finds

December 4, 2003

Scientists have been fascinated by miRNAs ever since the abundance of these tiny RNAs was discovered in 2001. Rather than code for proteins, miRNAs serve as regulators that turn protein-coding genes off. Now, new studies by scientists at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research are offering insight into the role miRNAs play in mammalian development.

Scientists Identify Dual Function for “Eyes absent”

November 19, 2003

Scientists know that proteins called transcription factors that regulate gene expression play a key role in cellular function. But what if that’s only part of the story? What if these regulators lead a double life no one knew before?

Laboratory “Theme Park” Re-creates RNA World for Study

August 26, 2003

Rarely, if ever, are theme parks built around a biological theme – and never do such parks fit inside a test tube. Almost never. Scientist David Bartel is hard at work on what might seem an impossibility – a microscopic theme park whose motif, the origins of life, is of equal interest to both scientists and philosophers.

Illustration of chromosome

Rumors of Male Chromosome's Demise Greatly Exaggerated, Study Finds

June 18, 2003

In the biological battle between the sexes, the Y chromosome has suffered defeat after defeat. The male-determining chromosome has seen its gene supply shrink from more than 1,000 genes when sex chromosomes first evolved, to what scientists once thought was only a handful of genes, a downward trend predicted to continue until the Y disappeared altogether.

Scientists Sequence Male Infertility Region on Y Chromosome

November 16, 2001

In a tour de force in genomics, researchers led by the Whitehead Institute and the Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis, Missouri, have sequenced and analyzed one of the most complicated terrains of the human genome. This region on the male sex (Y) chromosome, called AZFc, is important for sperm production and, when lost, causes male infertility.

Genoscope and Whitehead Announce the Draft Sequence of the Tetraodon Puffer Fish Genome

October 26, 2001

Chalking up another victory for comparative genomics, researchers from Genoscope (The French National Sequencing Center) in Paris, France, and the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research today announced that they have produced a six-fold sequence coverage of Tetraodon nigroviridis, a type of puffer fish whose genome is estimated to be 380 million DNA letters long.

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