Tag: Protein Function

Sperm cells “spring” into action

September 8, 2004

Scientists have identified a surprising mechanical means by which cells store and release energy, a tightly wound jack-in-the-box mechanism rather than the chemical storehouse cells are known to use.

Prions act as stepping stones in evolution

August 18, 2004

When a protein misfolds, the results can be disastrous. An incorrect change in the molecule’s shape can lead to diseases including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. But scientists have discovered that misfolded proteins can have a positive side in yeast.

Protein targeted by drug developers not open and shut case

August 11, 2004

Discovery of the mTOR protein and the role it plays in cell growth, a process often linked to diseases such as cancer, was part serendipity and part good detective work. And like any good whodunit, the mTOR story wouldn’t be complete without an unexpected twist.

Researchers discover receptor molecule for key diabetes protein

June 30, 2004

Obesity researchers made an intriguing discovery in 2001 when they found that large doses of a particular fat-cell protein, adiponectin, caused obese mice to lose weight.

Amyloid fibers exposed to Hsp104

Researchers discover protein that dissolves amyloid fibers

May 20, 2004

Amyloid fibers, those clumps of plaque-like proteins that clog up the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, have perplexed scientists with their robust structures. In laboratory experiments, they are able to withstand extreme heat and cold and powerful detergents that cripple most other proteins.

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.

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.

“Mad Cow” Mechanism May Be Integral to Storing Memory

December 24, 2003

Scientists have discovered a new process for how memories might be stored, a finding that could help explain one of the least-understood activities of the brain.

The Protein Universe

December 16, 2003

The story of life and all its associated processes takes place within a vast universe of proteins and their interactions, a bountiful frontier ripe for exploration.

Yeast Helps Researchers Better Understand Parkinson's Mystery

December 4, 2003

Scientists know that in patients with Parkinson’s disease, certain proteins in the brain form clusters that somehow contribute to cell death and, eventually, lead to the onset of the disease’s debilitating symptoms. Whitehead scientists have succeeded in duplicating the disease’s most critical features in the most readily manipulated model organism in existence.

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?

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.

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