Whitehead Institute Story Collections

Gain a broader perspective on environmental research, epigenetics, COVID-19 and more through these collections of multimedia stories. 

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Research at Whitehead Institute follows broad, intersecting trajectories. These collections of videos, podcasts, and written articles aim to illuminate the different angles our scientists take to tackle the same problems, and highlight the interdisciplinary cross-pollination that often leads to exciting advances.


 Researchers at Whitehead Institute are zooming in on the molecules of life — DNA, RNA, and proteins — to understand how modifications at a molecular level have a lasting impact on the way organisms grow, develop, survive, and reproduce.

Enjoy this collection of stories on Whitehead Institute’s recent infectious disease research, from apicomplexan parasites to zika virus—just remember to wash your hands well after reading.

Curl up in front of a warm fireplace this winter and enjoy a refresher on some of the biology basics that underlie Whitehead Institute research.

Whitehead Institute researchers are uncovering the functions of cellular components once thought to be of little consequence, or even harmful to cells.

Whitehead Institute researchers are making discoveries that are helping us rethink what we know about the brain and paving the way for therapies to treat some of the most challenging brain disorders and diseases.

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. 

Multicellular organisms evolved over millennia into a dazzling array of differently adapted creatures. With each generation, tiny worms, lavishly plumed birds, and even humans must create themselves anew from a single cell. To do so, they require a plan. This multimedia story collection explores the myriad of ways in which an organism's development is orchestrated.

When we take in energy as food or drink, a complex suite of chemical reactions allow us to turn it into usable fuel. The sum of these reactions, within each cell and throughout the body, makes up our metabolism. In this multimedia collection, learn how Whitehead Institute researchers are delving into the mechanisms behind metabolism from a variety of angles. 

Where there's a will, there might need to be a new scientific way. In this multimedia series, we explore some of the tools and methods, both experimental and computational, that Whitehead Institute researchers have created in order to answer otherwise unsolvable questions. 

RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is an essential and highly versatile molecule that shapes the landscape of every cell in our body, and even the course of evolution. In this multimedia collection, we explore some of the ways in which Whitehead Institute scientists are pushing the boundaries of what is known in the field of RNA biology and uncovering important implications for health and disease.

Whitehead Institute scientists are finding new ways to follow cells as they move around the body, pass through their life cycles, and arrive at their ultimate fates. Instead of just a snapshot, these approaches provide a rich history of their function, their journey, and in some instances their role in disease, when they go awry.

Whitehead Institute primarily focuses on biomedical research, and yet in recent years researchers in several labs here have discovered ways in which their work might contribute to climate resilience and sustainability. Scientists here are applying their skills to problems of climate change and sustainability in medicine, agriculture, and beyond.

Beyond the Gene is a collection of pieces across storytelling mediums—text, audio, and video—that together paint a picture of how current research at Whitehead Institute is expanding the understanding of gene regulation.

Since the start of the pandemic, several Whitehead Institute scientists have pivoted their research focus to address the biology of SARS-CoV-2 and the health impacts of COVID-19.