Tag: Genetics + Genomics

Study examines how cells tell each other apart

March 24, 2004

The idea of self vs. nonself may sound more like an existential identity crisis than a question in cellular biology. But to Whitehead Institute Associate Member Andrew Chess, the concept could offer information about how cells tell each other apart, a cellular self-awareness that ensures the correct wiring of neurons in the brain.

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.

New genomics tool boosts diabetes research

February 26, 2004

Researchers have developed a method for scanning the entire human genome to successfully map the location of key gene regulators, mutated forms of which are known to cause type 2 diabetes. The research marks the first time that human organshave been analyzed in this way and opens the door to similar studies.

Yeast’s variety show

February 11, 2004

New research into a family of cell wall proteins shows how yeast can present a variety of “faces” to its environment. In pathogens like yeast, these cell surface proteins regulate how the cell sticks to other cells, interacts with surrounding tissue and evades detection by the immune system.

Gene that produces 38,000 different proteins involved in cellular identification

February 2, 2004

A single gene that codes for more than 38,000 different proteins may allow individual cells in the brain to distinguish themselves from other cells, says Andrew Chess, a scientist at Whitehead Institute and lead author of the study, which appears online this week in the journal Nature Genetics.

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.

7 Million Letters and Counting

November 20, 2003

Almost 150 different genomes have been sequenced to date, including the human genome. But sequencing needs are growing faster than ever. This fall, researchers at Whitehead Institute will test new technology to speed genome sequencing.

Cholesterol Lowering Gene Increases Longevity

November 11, 2003

For years scientists have suspected that both longevity and low cholesterol are closely linked to genetics. This suspicion proves accurate in a new study to be published this week online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which shows genetic variation in a gene known for playing a key role in lipoprotein production also appears to be significantly overrepresented in centenarians.

Scientists Work to Break Cellular Code

November 6, 2003

Despite the rich knowledge scientists now have of the genes that constitute the human genome, researchers have yet to unravel the precise choreography by which they work – or malfunction – together in the cell in response to triggers from the outside world.

New Computer Method Advances Systems Biology

October 14, 2003

A team of researchers from Whitehead Institute and MIT have developed a new computational method that will give a boost to the field of systems biology.

Software Tackles Protein Pathways

September 25, 2003

When biologists want to compare different sequences of DNA or protein, it’s as simple as plugging the information into a browser and pressing enter. Within 15 seconds, an online software tool contrasts one sequence of DNA with up to 18 million others catalogued in public databases. Now, a software tool developed by Whitehead Institute scientists promises to apply this same computational muscle to the far more intricate world of protein interaction networks, giving researchers a new view of the complexities of cellular life.

Whitehead Genome Center Scientists Assemble Draft Sequence of Ustilago maydis

September 23, 2003

Scientists at the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research (WICGR) have publicly released a high quality draft genome sequence of Ustilago maydis, commonly known as corn smut, an important model system for the study of plant fungal diseases. In the United States, U. maydis poses a significant economic threat to agriculture.

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