Boffins score $1.6m to make Synthetic Yeast
THERE is a god and he wears a white coat and hangs around in a laboratory.
Well, what else could we think after reports that scientists in the UK have been given a $A1.6 million government grant to develop a stronger, cheaper beer.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that scientists hope to concoct a “designer” genome that could help brewers come up with more potent and less pricey amber nectar.
The idea is to create a new form of bacterium genome that would then be inserted into the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the yeast that is essential for brewing alcohol.
If successful it would be the first time researchers have created a synthetic organism.
Professor Paul Freemont, from the centre for synthetic biology and innovation at Imperial College London who is helping to lead the British part of the project, said: “The brewing industry is very interested in this project for any new opportunities it may present as they use yeast to manufacture beer.
“One of the aims of the project is to develop this yeast strain as a vehicle that you can put in new chemical pathways and directly manipulate it in a way that is not possible at the moment.
“Clearly there are strains of yeast that are highly resistant to alcohol, but they all die off as the alcohol gets higher, so making more alcohol resistant strains will be very useful for that industry in terms of cost value.”
Article from Perthnow.com