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Partly Human Yeast Show a Common Ancestor's Lasting Legacy

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posted on May, 22 2015 @ 09:39 AM
The next time you make bread or pizza dough, remember that the living yeast is your common ancestor!!

This could be a real teaching moment for anti-evolutionists who don't understand ZIP about how evolution works.

Despite a billion years of evolution separating humans from the baker's yeast in their refrigerators, hundreds of genes from an ancestor that the two species have in common live on nearly unchanged in them both, say biologists at The University of Texas at Austin. The team created thriving strains of genetically engineered yeast using human genes and found that certain groups of genes are surprisingly stable over evolutionary time.

The research, published May 22 in the journal Science, paves the way for using humanized yeast to better understand genetic disorders and to screen drugs for treating the diseases.

Although yeast consist of a single cell and humans have trillions of cells organized into complex systems, we share thousands of similar genes. Of those, about 450 are critical for yeast's survival, so researchers removed the yeast version of each one and replaced it with the human version and waited to see whether the yeast would die. Creating hundreds of new strains of yeast, each with a single human gene, resulted in many newly engineered strains -- nearly half, in fact -- that could survive and reproduce after having human genes swapped in for their ordinary ones.

Edward Marcotte and his colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin created hundreds of strains of humanized yeast by inserting into each a single human gene and turning off the corresponding yeast gene.

Credit: Jacqui Tabler

edit on 22-5-2015 by Phantom423 because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-5-2015 by Phantom423 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2015 @ 09:43 AM
a reply to: Phantom423

Very cool article and find!!! Even though yeast are single-celled organisms they share THOUSANDS of genes with human beings. That alone is mind boggling!!! Genetics is a very complicated field of study but we are learning more and more about it by the day.

S & F thanks for sharing Phantom423

posted on May, 22 2015 @ 11:34 AM
You tellin' me my great-great-great-grandpappy was an infection?

You tryin' to get a rise out of me, boy?

posted on May, 22 2015 @ 01:17 PM
They talked about this on NPR yesterday, very interesting research indeed. Very interesting interview as well...

Rip open a little package of baker's yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you'll see your distant cousin.

That's because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven't really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

"We've been separated by a billion years of evolution," notes Marcotte. "Do those genes really work the same way?"

edit on 22-5-2015 by SuperFrog because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2015 @ 02:41 PM
Every painting is made of paint. Be it a flower, a tree or a bear.

If we look deep enough, it is the same.

The illusion of reality, is simply perception on a grander scale.

go beyond genes, down to the quantum level.. and the canvas is as changing as our thoughts. strange, yet like a rapid river, as each molecule is thrust along a path, individually, changing, separate, nothing changes it's path....

reality is a flowing randomness, life is part of it, we are not distinct.. we are simply a point of reference in the entire slew of it all...

so as we may think we can change reality, we cannot.. no more than a single drop of water can change the course of the river..

edit on 22-5-2015 by sn0rch because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2015 @ 09:34 PM
Thanks for all the comments - and thanks SuperFrog for the link to the NPR interview.

The experiment reaffirms something we already knew - there is a common genetic ancestry on this planet. It doesn't mean that a salamander turned into a bird or an ape turned into a man. It means that life itself has a fundamental formula common to living organisms that moves in the direction of change.

It also re-enforces that fact that hard evidence is crucial to our understanding of the world. This experiment will be repeated and expanded. Perhaps someone will find a flaw in the methods. Whatever the outcome, an open mind goes FORWARD - not BACKWARD - and doesn't stay STATIONARY. You don't agree with the experiment, go into the lab and prove them wrong.

That's science folks. The world of experiments, results and challenges.

posted on May, 23 2015 @ 10:04 PM

originally posted by: Phantom423

This could be a real teaching moment for anti-evolutionists who don't understand ZIP about how evolution works.

"Teaching moment"??

Come on, Phantom... you and I both know that they don't have those.

posted on May, 24 2015 @ 06:34 AM
a reply to: Answer

There's always hope for the hopeless!!

posted on May, 24 2015 @ 07:06 AM
a reply to: Phantom423

And the probability of me marrying Natalie Dormer is still technically >0.

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