"Yeast in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace" – good to have some microbiology on the last Space Shuttle mission

Well, this is a good story lead in
“Chefs across the globe may not know it yet, but their baker’s yeast just left the kitchen and blasted off into low Earth orbit”.

This is from a NASA press release: NASA – Yeast Rising to the Space Station

Sure – NASA has had some issues with their press released in the recent past. But I like this one. Funny. Interesting. And the science seems, well, worth doing. They are putting the yeast deletion constructs into orbit — and they are going to use them to study what genes might be involved in survival in microgravity. Sure the connections they try to make to humans are a big big stretch (though I love the “yeastnaut” term), but that didn’t bother me for some reason – maybe since it is done in a light hearted way.

Hat tip to Corey Nislow, one of the researchers behind the Yeast in Space project, for pointing me to this story. 

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

One thought on “"Yeast in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace" – good to have some microbiology on the last Space Shuttle mission”

  1. The problem with all of the 'microbes in space' work is that these organisms live at a microscopic scale where gravity isn't relevant. What's typically being examined is differences between well-mixed and stationary cultures, which won't tell us anything about problems faced by humans and other large organisms in microgravity.


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