Yeast & Entropy

Matthias Heinemann

Matthias Heinemann

Yeast & Entropy  (starts 2:30) When yeast cells eat sugar and then give off ethanol, it helps us make yeast breads and beer.  But WHY would yeast work so hard to metabolize sugar, simply to spit out as ethanol?  This is a mystery that Matthias Heinemann is  trying to figure out. Heinemann is a professor of molecular systems biology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.  His research published in Nature shows that yeast spits out ethanol to protect the yeast from “ metabolic overload.” Heinemann has figured out how to predict when this will happen, using the Gibbs Equation, ie through the perspective of conventional  biology. Heinemann seeks clues about metabolism by applying some scientific laws that are best known for explaining machines and engines. They’re the laws of thermodynamics.  (TRANSCRIPT HERE)

Host, ProducerEngineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Listen to the show:

Play
Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Support KGNU


How On Earth is produced by a small group of volunteers at the studios of KGNU, an independent community radio station in the Boulder-Denver metro area. KGNU is supported by the generosity and efforts of community members like you. Visit kgnu.org to learn more.

Podcast

Subscribe via iTunes
 
How On Earth episodes can be downloaded as podcasts via iTunes, or streamed to a mobile device via Stitcher or Science360 Radio.
 
Listen on Stitcher
 
Listen on Science360 Radio
 
For more info about podcasting, and more subscription options, visit our Podcast page.