Coming Soon: Beer Brewed With Space Yeast

Beginning April 13, you'll have a chance to try Ninkasi Brewing Company's "Ground Control," an imperial stout brewed with yeast that, last year, traveled to space. » 3/19/15 1:55pm 3/19/15 1:55pm

A Perfume That Smells Like Roses—But Is Actually Made from Yeast

A rose is a rose is a rose, except when it's actually a yeast. A company called Gingko BioWorks in Boston is partnering with French fragrance company Robertet to create a genetically-modified yeast that makes the rose oil used in perfumes. » 3/05/15 2:00am 3/05/15 2:00am

The Harmonious Ecosystem That You Destroy To Make Bread 

A loaf of bread isn't fluffed up by chemistry alone. It's slowly built up by colonies of yeast, which you heartlessly extinguish when you bake the dough in the oven. There's an ecosystem in every loaf, and a special kind of loaf, sourdough, is built by a special kind of ecology. » 2/23/15 6:20am 2/23/15 6:20am

Bone Dusters Paleo Ale: the first-ever fossil-based beer

On June 18, beer-lovers and fossil-enthusiasts alike—at least those around Ashburn, Virginia—will have a chance to sample the very first beer derived from a fossil. » 5/29/14 1:42pm 5/29/14 1:42pm

Why do rotten foods taste so awful?

Biting into a rotten piece of fruit or meat is a thoroughly unpleasant experience. According to a 40-year-old theory, it's because microbes have evolved to taste disgusting as a way to fend off competitors — namely you. But proving this theory has been difficult, until now. » 3/12/14 6:20am 3/12/14 6:20am

The deadly side of champagne bubbles

Though the "sparkling" part of champagne is a key part of it's appeal, those tiny bubbles were a huge problem for about a century's worth of French wine makers. We'll let you in on the making, and the downside, of bubbles. » 9/20/13 1:00pm 9/20/13 1:00pm

Magneto would approve of new magnetized yeast cells

Some Frankenstein yeast cells had part of their own DNA removed and some human cell tissue put in. Why did this happen? So they could be so stuffed full of iron that they're super-magnetized and moved with magnets. Are us mere mortals far behind? » 3/01/12 9:00am 3/01/12 9:00am

Researchers resurrect new species of life from ancient Andean tomb

Close to 1,500 years ago, indians living in what is now Quito, Ecuador buried their most revered dead in 16-meter-deep tombs. An ancient alcoholic beverage was commonly included in these burial vaults. Now, by examining the clay vessels used to ferment and store this brew, a team of South American researchers has… » 2/20/12 7:10am 2/20/12 7:10am

Synthetic replacement chromosomes give us replicant yeast

Last year saw the stunning announcement of synthetic bacteria. Now the next step has been taken, a move towards a synthetic organism that's markedly more complex — yeast. » 9/16/11 7:40am 9/16/11 7:40am

Scientists have discovered the missing link in the evolution of lager

The yeast Saccharomyces cerivisiae is the brewer's go-to fungus for converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide in potent potables like ciders and ales, but when it comes to brewing lager beer... well, lager brewing is a completely different animal. In fact, to be more specific, lager-brewing requires a… » 8/23/11 5:22pm 8/23/11 5:22pm

Baker's yeast can protect against a deadly fungus

Could baker's yeast injections protect against one of the deadliest infections in the world? New research seems to indicate yes. The fungus Aspergillus is the cause of aspergillosis, the leading fungal killer of immunocompromised people. It's an infection that targets the lungs, and then spreads to other organs like… » 8/12/11 7:30am 8/12/11 7:30am

Yeast kept life on Earth alive before the rise of oxygen

Around 2.4 billion years ago, the ancestors of bacteria took over the oceans and began photosynthesizing, creating massive amounts of oxygen where before there had been barely any. This was the Great Oxygenation Event, which made all subsequent life on Earth possible. All life except . . . yeast. » 8/09/11 1:33pm 8/09/11 1:33pm

Laboratory yeast artificially evolve into multicellular organisms

One of the biggest evolutionary hurdles for life on Earth was the jump from single-celled to multi-cellular organisms...or at least, that's what we thought. Scientists set out to replicate this evolutionary leap in laboratory conditions. It took them two months. » 6/26/11 1:30pm 6/26/11 1:30pm