Tag: Genetics + Genomics

Long noncoding RNAs control development of fat cells

February 13, 2013

Whitehead Institute researchers report that 10 long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a vital role in the regulation of white fat cells. When each of these lncRNAs is individually knocked down, fat precursor cells fail to mature into white fat cells and have significantly reduced lipid droplets compared with white fat cells with unmodified lncRNA function.

Diagrm of transcription of mRNA and lncRNA that start at the same location

Paired genes in stem cells shed new light on gene organization and regulation

February 4, 2013

Research from Whitehead Institute shows that transcription at the active promoters of protein-coding genes commonly runs in opposite directions. This leads to coordinate production of both protein-coding messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs).

Information security image

Scientists expose new vulnerabilities in the security of personal genetic information

January 17, 2013

Using only a computer, an Internet connection, and publicly accessible online resources, a team of Whitehead Institute researchers has been able to identify nearly 50 individuals who had submitted personal genetic material as participants in genomic studies. 

Charts of global genetic analyses

Whitehead scientists identify major flaw in standard approach to global gene expression analysis

October 25, 2012

Whitehead Institute researchers report that common assumptions employed in the generation and interpretation of data from global gene expression analyses can lead to seriously flawed conclusions about gene activity and cell behavior in a wide range of current biological research.

Electron micrograph of egg and sperm

Study reveals rate at which key genetic deletions contribute to male infertility

October 25, 2012

A large-scale analysis of Y chromosomes from more than 20,000 men finds that two spontaneously recurring deletions along a complex region of the Y chromosome are responsible for approximately 8% of cases of failed sperm production.

Image of mouse embryonic fibroblasts undergoing reprogramming

Whitehead scientists bring new efficiency to stem cell reprogramming

September 13, 2012

New genetic markers identified by researchers at Whitehead Institute and MIT could help make the process for reprogramming regular body cells into pluripotent stem cells more efficient, allowing scientists to predict which treated cells will successfully become pluripotent.

Image of induced embryonic Sertoli-like cells in the fetal male mouse gonad

Scientists create germ cell-supporting embryonic Sertoli-like cells from skin cells

September 6, 2012

Using a stepwise trans-differentiation process, Whitehead Institute researchers have turned skin cells into embryonic Sertoli-like cells.

Cartoon of cyclin D3's role

Protein found to regulate red blood cell size and number

August 28, 2012

By examining the results of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in conjunction with experiments on mouse and human red blood cells (RBCs), researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Founding Member Harvey Lodish have identified the protein cyclin D3 as regulating the number of cell divisions RBC progenitors undergo, which ultimately affects the resulting size and quantity of RBCs.

lobSTR algorithm overview.

lobSTR algorithm rolls DNA fingerprinting into 21st Century

April 27, 2012

Whitehead Institute researchers have created a three-step algorithm, lobSTR, that in one day accurately and simultaneously profiles more than 100,000 short tandem repeats (STRs) in one human genome sequence—a feat that previous systems could never complete.

Image: Y and X chromosomes

Theory of the "rotting" Y chromosome dealt a fatal blow

February 22, 2012

Research on the evolution of the human Y chromosome confirms that the Y—despite arguments to the contrary—has a long, healthy future ahead of it.

Noncoding RNAs alter yeast phenotypes in a site-specific manner

February 14, 2012

A team of scientists from Whitehead Institute and other institutions has shown for the first time how two long intergenic noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) in brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) contribute to a location-dependent switch for the yeast FLO11 gene to toggle between active and inactive states.

Diagram of how chromosomes are aligned

A mitosis mystery solved: how chromosomes align perfectly in a dividing cell

February 12, 2012

Although the process of mitotic cell division has been studied intensely for more than 50 years, Whitehead Institute researchers have only now solved the mystery of how cells correctly align their chromosomes during symmetric mitosis. 

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