Development and regeneration

Researchers at Whitehead Institute are breathing new life into the study of rejuvenation, the ability of cells to repair and replenish tissues — and potentially learning how to slow or reverse the changes our cells experience over time. 

Planarians, a type of aquatic flatworm, are a super regenerator, able to restore their bodies by growing back anything from an eye or a tail to a head. Whitehead Institute Member Peter Reddien seeks to understand how planarians are able to regenerate so effectively.

A new paper from the lab of Whitehead Institute Director Ruth Lehmann reveals how primordial germ cells in flies migrate from one end of an embryo to the other during development. The work could have implications for how scientists study germ cells in vivo, as well as other motile cells such as cancer cells.

Learn about a molecule that can take the place of oxygen in the electron transport chain; a key protein that helps sea star embryos establish polarity early in development; and a new approach to cataloguing cells' many DNA repair mechanisms. Our latest research highlights video features work from the labs of Iain Cheeseman and Jonathan Weissman.