The evolution of beer yeasts, seedy pants and vampire bat venom-turned medicine

Beer yeasts: Researchers at Lund University in Sweden tracked the history of two yeasts—Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Dekkera bruxellensis—used in alcohol fermentation to pinpoint their role in ethanol production. They found that, around 150 million years ago, competition with other microbes, and the overall increase in sugar-rich fruits, encouraged the yeasts to withstand high ethanol concentrations—an adaptation that would allow them...

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From the Community: ecological research in July

Resistance to Bt crops, chaotic red queen, balancing research near Mount Saint Helens, biodiversity and species coexistence and camouflage in polymorphic Pygmy grasshoppers. Here is open-access research from the first week in July. Cropping up: From the article “Managing resistance to Bt crops in a genetically variable insect herbivore, Ostrinia nubilalis” by Megan E. O’Rourke, Cornell University, in Ecological Applications:...

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