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The Yeast of Immortality

Though it appears the focus of this new discovery, at least as reported in Live Science, is mostly about the vain hope of immortality, it does involve beer yeast. Research scientists from USC “have extended the lifespan of yeast, microbes responsible for creating bread and beer, by 10-fold. That’s twice the previous record for life extension in an organism.” Or as USC News put it, “[b]iologists have created [brewer’s] yeast capable of living to 800 in yeast years without apparent side effects.” Normal yeast lives not more than a week, usually. The USC study managed to keep the yeast alive for ten weeks.

The full results of the study will be published today in the Journal of Cell Biology. I can’t say this will have any impact on the brewing industry, but it seems like it can’t hurt to have yeast that is effectively ten-times tougher and longer-lasting.


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