Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Yeast species used in food industry causes disease in humans

A major cause of drug-resistant clinical yeast infections is the same species previously regarded as non-pathogenic and commonly used in the biotechnology and food industries. The study, published on July 19th in the open-access ...

Oncology & Cancer

Scientists reveal the relationship between sugar and cancer

A nine-year joint research project conducted by VIB, KU Leuven and VUB has led to a crucial breakthrough in cancer research. Scientists have clarified how the Warburg effect, a phenomenon in which cancer cells rapidly break ...

Medications

Anti-fungal drug not tied to most birth defects, study says

(HealthDay)—Although some reports have shown that high doses of the anti-fungal drug fluconazole (Diflucan) may raise the risk of birth defects, a new Danish review finds that more commonly prescribed lower doses of the ...

Health

Red yeast rice may lower cholesterol

Two years ago, Chuck Jones of Yardley, Pa., had high cholesterol, but his medicine caused severe leg cramps that routinely ruined his sleep.

Medical research

Closer to a cure for eczema

Scientists have found that a strain of yeast implicated in inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema, can be killed by certain peptides and could potentially provide a new treatment for these debilitating skin conditions. ...

Medical research

Fountain of youth in bile? Longevity molecule identified

The human quest for longer life may be one step closer, thanks to research from Concordia University. Published in the journal Aging, a new study is the first to identify the role of a bile acid, called lithocholic acid (LCA), ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Fungi cause brain infection and impair memory in mice

Fungal infections are emerging as a major medical challenge, and a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has developed a mouse model to study the short-term consequences of fungal infection in the brain.

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Yeast

Yeasts are eukaryotic microorganisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with about 1,500 species currently described; they dominate fungal diversity in the oceans. Most reproduce asexually by budding, although a few do so by binary fission. Yeasts are unicellular, although some species with yeast forms may become multicellular through the formation of a string of connected budding cells known as pseudohyphae, or false hyphae as seen in most molds. Yeast size can vary greatly depending on the species, typically measuring 3–4 µm in diameter, although some yeasts can reach over 40 µm.

The yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used in baking and fermenting alcoholic beverages for thousands of years. It is also extremely important as a model organism in modern cell biology research, and is one of the most thoroughly researched eukaryotic microorganisms. Researchers have used it to gather information about the biology of the eukaryotic cell and ultimately human biology. Other species of yeast, such as Candida albicans, are opportunistic pathogens and can cause infections in humans. Yeasts have recently been used to generate electricity in microbial fuel cells, and produce ethanol for the biofuel industry.

Yeasts do not form a specific taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping. At present it is estimated that only 1% of all yeast species have been described. The term "yeast" is often taken as a synonym for S. cerevisiae, but the phylogenetic diversity of yeasts is shown by their placement in both divisions Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. The budding yeasts ("true yeasts") are classified in the order Saccharomycetales.

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