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Researchers in Whitehead Institute Director Ruth Lehmann’s lab have discovered that swarm cells, a previously enigmatic cell type, help primordial germ cells time their transformation during development so that the ovary can successfully assemble for egg production. 

Whitehead Institute researchers Silvi Rouskin, Ankur Jain, and David Bartel discuss how their RNA research connects to health and disease, including viral infections and neurodegeneration. This podcast is part of a multimedia series on RNA.

Unlike our own genomes, the genetic material of the novel coronavirus is RNA — and RNA also makes up some of the vaccines. Learn how the field of RNA biology has been working to meet the challenges of the virus, and what Whitehead Institute RNA researchers have been working on throughout the pandemic. 

May 19, 2021

Whitehead Institute researchers are studying how RNA molecules group together for the good of the cell and our health — and what happens when these groupings go awry.

Researchers at Whitehead Institute have made important discoveries that have uncovered the prevalence, characteristics, and functions of regulatory RNAs. Their work has transformed researchers’ understanding of gene regulation and revealed a complex, elegant system that tailors gene expression for each cell type and tissue.

Melissa Pamula is a postdoc in Whitehead Institute Director Ruth Lehmann’s lab studying the cells that make and become eggs and sperm. We sat down with Melissa to learn more about her and her experiences in and out of the lab.