The Human Brain

The Human Brain

Monday, April 30, 2007

Evolution's Role in the Production of Beer

Did you ever wonder how yeast evolved the ability to produce alcohol? An article in the New Scientist presents a unique look at the evolutionary history of yeast and why the ability to produce alcohol proved to be an effective adaptation.

"Ethanol is toxic to most microbes, so acquiring the ability to turn all the glucose available in a fruit into a sea of the stuff gave S. cerevisiae's ancestors a big competitive advantage. "It quickly converts the sugar into something that it can use to defend its territory," says Aris. The yeast itself, of course, has evolved a high tolerance to alcohol." - Andy Coghlan

Check out the full article.

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