Tag: Stem Cells + Therapeutic Cloning

Illustration of scientist looking at tree of life including acoel and planarian

Small worm muscles up to reveal ancient body patterning mechanism during regeneration

October 30, 2017

Whitehead Member Peter Reddien has determined that a major function of muscle in planaria and acoels--a small regenerative marine worm auspiciously located on the evolutionary tree as an outgroup to all the rest of the Bilateria--is to serve as the source of instructive positional information for instructing regeneration.

Growth medium based on human plasma rewires cell metabolism

April 6, 2017

Cultured human cells are the foundation for disease and drug research. Now Whitehead Institute researchers have designed a growth medium that more closely resembles the cells’ environment in the body—and demonstrated that, relative to decades-old recipes that have remained the workhorses of cell culture studies, it significantly alters the cells’ inner workings.

Graphical abstract of the research described below

Defining what it means to be a naive stem cell

July 14, 2016

Whitehead Institute scientists have created a checklist that defines the “naive” state of cultured human embryonic stem cells (ESCs).  Such cells provide a better model of early human embryogenesis than conventional ESCs in later stages of development.

Drawing of unhealthy food

High-fat diet linked to intestinal stem cell changes, increased risk for cancer

March 2, 2016

Over the past decade, studies have found that obesity and eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet are significant risk factors for many types of cancer. Now, a new study from Whitehead Institute and MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research reveals how a high-fat diet makes the cells of the intestinal lining more likely to become cancerous.

Photo of chimera mouse with dark hairs

New mouse-human modeling system enables study of disease development in vivo

January 25, 2016

Whitehead Institute researchers have created a new mouse-human modeling system that could be used to study neural crest development as well as the modeling of a variety of neural crest related diseases, including such cancers as melanoma and neurofibromatosis. 

Schematic of looping chromosomal structure

3D map of human genome reveals relationship between mutations and disease development

December 10, 2015

Whitehead Institute researchers have created a map of the DNA loops that comprise the three dimensional (3D) structure of the human genome and contribute to gene regulation in human embryonic stem cells. The location of genes and regulatory elements within this chromosomal framework will help scientists better navigate their genomic research, establishing relationships between mutations and disease development.

Diagram of cancer versus normal stem cells

Variations in cell programs control cancer and normal stem cells

September 3, 2015

In the breast, cancer stem cells and normal stem cells can arise from different cell types and tap into distinct yet related stem cell programs, according to Whitehead Institute researchers. The differences between these stem cell programs may be significant enough to be exploited by future therapeutics.

Image of human red blood cells

Repurposed anti-cholesterol drug could improve treatment-resistant anemias

May 11, 2015

Using a mouse model, the lab of Whitehead Institute Founding Member Harvey Lodish, has now determined that combining the cholesterol-lowering drug fenofibrate with glucocorticoids could allow for dramatically lower steroid doses in the treatment of  Diamond Blackfan anemia and other erythropoietin-resistant anemias.

Image of cells with and without RUNX1 turned on

Scientists identify gene required for differentiation of breast stem cells

May 6, 2015

Scientists have applied a new method of analyzing cell states to identify a gene required for breast stem cells to differentiate. This gene, RUNX1, is deregulated or mutated in some leukemias and breast cancers. The novel approach, known as PEACS, could also be used to screen for drugs that activate or inhibit the expression regulators of stem cell differentiation.

Whitehead Founding Member Rudolf Jaenisch

Whitehead’s Rudolf Jaenisch honored with March of Dimes Prize

April 27, 2015

The prize honors Jaenisch’s groundbreaking body of work in epigenetics, the development of transgenic animals, and the generation and use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

Dividing human mammary stem cells

Age discrimination during cell division maintains the ‘stem’ in stem cells

April 2, 2015

A team of Whitehead Institute scientists has discovered that during division, stem cells distinguish between old and young mitochondria and allocate them disproportionately between daughter cells.

Family of neural-associated RNA-binding proteins found to regulate cell state in breast cancer

December 15, 2014

A widely conserved family of RNA-binding proteins known to be expressed in neural stem cells and other stem cell types has now been shown to play a role in controlling both the state and behavior of breast cancer cells.

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