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The Art in Science

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Chao-Wei Hung, Graduate Student (Duncan Laboratory), Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School

Budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have been used for home brewing and baking for many centuries. In the laboratory, this micro-organism, which reproduces by budding, is a powerful model for cell biological studies. A large number of biological pathways that are crucial for a healthy life have been identified in yeast long before they were studied in higher organisms such as human cells. Budding yeast have played important roles in our current understanding cell division, metabolism and aging. Interestingly, more genes involved in aging were identified in S. cerevisiae than in any other organism! In this image, the colors track the dynamic movement of a single yeast cell in time as it detaches from the surface and responds to currents in the environment.