Tag: Genetics + Genomics

Study reveals connection between genetic and environmental causes of Parkinson’s disease

February 1, 2009

Scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have found that a single gene, known as PARK9, protects cells from manganese toxicity and rescues neurons from over-expression of the protein alpha-synuclein. Misfolded alpha-synuclein is the hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.

Tracking the molecular pathway to mixed-lineage leukemia

December 15, 2008

The MLL-AF4 fusion protein, which causes the blood cancer called mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL), binds to several genes responsible for early blood cell development. MLL-AF4 also alters the chromatin proteins associated with these genes, a state that is associated with cancer and leukemia progression.

DNA methylation shown to promote development of colon tumors

December 1, 2007

A promising pathway that may lead to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of certain cancers with minimal side effects.

Whitehead postdoctoral researchers Stuart Levine and Matthew Guenther

Cells take risks with their identities

July 12, 2007

Contrary to textbook models, many genes that should be “off” in embryonic stem cells and specialized adult cells remain primed to produce master regulatory proteins, leaving those cells vulnerable to identity changes.

MIT Professors Linda Griffith, Leona Samson, and Harvey Lodish in the lab with their advisee Joe Shuga

DNA-damage test could aid drug development

May 14, 2007

Researchers have developed a cell culture test for assessing a compound’s genetic toxicity that may prove dramatically cheaper than existing animal tests.

Schematic of identifying Foxp3 interacts with the genome

Cracking open the black box of autoimmune disease

January 21, 2007

Researchers have identified a key set of genes that lie at the core of autoimmune disease.

Andreas Hochwagen joins Whitehead Fellows program

May 15, 2006

He will study cell division, particularly meiosis.

Mapping the foundation of human development

April 20, 2006

Researchers have determined how a key developmental ingredient controls the genome.

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.

Study yields insights into pathogenic fungi—and beer

August 8, 2005

Chemotherapy or organ transplantation not only take a huge toll on patients, but they can compromise the immune system and leave patients vulnerable to infections from microbes such as pathogenic fungi—the fastest-growing cause of hospital-acquired infections.

Image: Microarry results

Array for the cell

May 25, 2005

Figuring what a gene does is hard work, but it’s vastly easier than it was a few years ago. Back then, you would laboriously isolate a single gene, tinker with it to get some inkling about its purpose, and then start speculating about how it might collaborate with other genes. Now, microarrays let researchers gather exponentially more data about gene expression.

Image: Artwork of monkey and rat surrounded by base pairs

The genome club

January 12, 2005

A growing list of mammals is joining humans, mice, and chimpanzees in the exclusive club of those whose whole genome has been sequenced—giving complete and matching sets of each animal's DNA, and offering researchers the opportunity to rebuild biology and medicine from the ground up.

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