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Old 04-22-2009, 11:33 PM   #1
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Default Geeks learn to control yeasties ;)

Slashdot | Designing DNA Circuits To Brew Tastier Beer

That is pretty freaking cool. DNA level tweaking of yeast to get preferred flavors etc... if I understood this right haha

I for one welcome our genetically modified yeast overlords!
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:53 PM   #2
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Default Designing DNA Circuits To Brew Tastier Beer

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"Researchers at Boston University have developed a way to predict the behavior or different DNA segments and make synthetic biology a little bit more reliable. James Collins and colleagues have built libraries of component parts and a mathematical modeling system to help them predict the behavior of parts of a gene network. Like any self-respected bunch of grad students, they decided to demonstrate the approach by making beer. They engineered gene promoters to control when flocculation occurs in brewers yeast, which allowed them to finely control the flavor of the resulting beer."
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:11 AM   #3
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To control the clarity and tannic/smoothness:


"In one demonstration, the researchers used a genetic network to precisely control a process in yeast that is crucial for brewing beer, called flocculation. The timing and strength of flocculation determines whether a beer is cloudy and tannic or clear and smooth, and initiating the process often relies on chemical additives. To genetically engineer flocculation control into yeast, the researchers constructed a toggle switch, a type of synthetic network that makes use of two mutually opposing promoters that can toggle between one state and another. If one promoter is weak and the other is strong, the stronger one will eventually overwhelm the weak one, flipping the switch. The length of time that it takes to flip the switch can be tweaked by changing the relative strengths of the two promoters, essentially creating a genetic timer. The researchers engineered this network into yeast so that when the toggle switches on, the yeast is made to flocculate."

Better brewing through chemistry.

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Old 04-23-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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I knew there were other slashdot geeks around here.

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Old 04-23-2009, 12:10 PM   #5
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I know that they are on the verge of making a yeast that contains the "healthy" stuff that is in red wine. I can't wait! Beer found at your local health food store!

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Old 04-23-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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Default Engineered yeast

I'm not a big science guy but found this article in fark.com and thought someone may be interested. Technology Review: Brewing with Synthetic Biology

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Old 04-25-2009, 10:16 PM   #7
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I just saw this and I think it's pretty cool! But the popular press kind of over-represented it a little bit. All the researchers did was control flocculation -- when the yeast are done and drop into the trub, leaving you with clear beer. They didn't actually make any new flavors... yet.

What they have is pretty interesting, though. They have three different yeast strains, each of which flocculates at 60 hr or 168 hr after "induction" (adding anhydrotetracycline, just 4 milligrams in 5 gallons!) This happens even if there are still sugars around. This may make it possible to make sweeter beer or cider without having to cold-crash or add preservatives. Just wait a week and rack to secondary!

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Old 04-26-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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No GMO yeast allowed in my beer, monsanto has done enough. My yeast Floc just fine with a little TLC.
-Ander

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