Genetics

Genomic detectives crack the case of the missing heritability

(Medical Xpress)—Despite years of research, the genetic factors behind many human diseases and characteristics remain unknown. The inability to find the complete genetic causes of family traits such as height or the risk ...

Oncology & Cancer

Overstuffed cancer cells may have an Achilles' heel

In a study using yeast cells and data from cancer cell lines, Johns Hopkins University scientists report they have found a potential weak spot among cancer cells that have extra sets of chromosomes, the structures that carry ...

Medical research

A moderate dose of novel form of stress promotes longevity

A newly described form of stress called chromatin architectural defect, or chromatin stress, triggers in cells a response that leads to a longer life. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Houston Methodist Research ...

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.

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 ...

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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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