The Yeast… We Can Do

They’re trying to custom design how your internal organs work and it all has to do with programming DNA, working to create “on/off” switches: a DNA memory device of sorts using a vast number of genes and DNA/RNA components. One of the perks is that they may be able to trigger cells to both monitor and maintain glucose levels. For the diabetic? Nirvana.

How about an engineered virus that fights disease and illness?

What the hell does this have to do with beer?

Everything…

They’re starting with beer yeast, splicing together different types; trying to engineer yeast to flocculate at specific times: a yeast designed to floc exactly when the brewer wants it floc… to make up a shortened version of “flocculate.”

Yes, I can type the word “flocculate” without winding up labeled as porno by the net police. (Where are they? haven’t seen the spam-bot police cars lately. Think I just saw a curse word speed by doing well over $#@!%^$#@!.)

flocculate (fl?k’y?-l?t’)

1. To cause (soil) to form lumps or masses.
2. To cause (clouds) to form fluffy masses.

v.intr.

To form lumpy or fluffy masses.
n.

Something that has formed lumpy or fluffy masses.

And, by the way, also used in regard to yeast when they get very excited. “Yum, fermentables.” And, no, I won’t provide “pictures.” Except for those of us who brew: very boring. Remember Biology 101? Yup. I wanted to sleep through it too.

Due to a spin off field often called “synthetic biology,” as a homebrewer I not only have designer yeast swimming in my wert filled; foamy, head, but have started imagining yeasts like one that’s both ale and lager: with the advantages of both. Get that old fermentation going top and bottom. How about a yeast that can be added at times that would normally kill yeast, but only start fermenting when designed to do so? There’s so many yeasty visions swimming in my head and, to be honest, I’m not sure how many might be possible. At this stage… I’ll bet they’re not sure either.

So someday when you get your diabetes under control and can live like those who have better sugar control, or get your liver “fixed…” (Or replaced with a better designed one?) …because you spent too much time punishing the last one, thank that itsy bitsy yeasty who helped lead the way.

All thanks to; let’s all do the Homer Simpson quote together… BEER.

Want to learn more? Click HERE. And HERE. And HERE.