El cerebro que gema: La levadura como herramienta en el surgimiento de nuevos tratamientos para enfermedades neurodegenerativas

Autora: Sara Wong
Tradducción: Cristina Maria Rios, editado por Jean Rodriguez Diaz

¿Qué tienen en común los humanos con la levadura que utilizan los panaderos? Sorprendentemente, ambos comparten una gran cantidad de información genética y son gobernados por muchos de los mismos procesos celulares. Aunque la levadura carece de órganos y extremidades como los humanos, esta trabaja similarmente a las células humanas y puede ser utilizada para estudiar una gran variedad de enfermedades que padecen los humanos. La levadura es barata, crece rápido y es fácil de manipular. Estas cualidades han permitido que los científicos que estudian a la levadura descubran nuevos genes y mecanismos que son comparables con los de otros organismos modelos, como los ratones. Un área de la investigación con levadura se enfoca en entender enfermedades neurodegenerativas, tales como las enfermedades de Parkinson y Alzheimer. Continue reading “El cerebro que gema: La levadura como herramienta en el surgimiento de nuevos tratamientos para enfermedades neurodegenerativas”

Science Behind the Scenes: Model Organisms—The Unsung Heroes of Biomedical Research

Author: Noah Steinfeld

Editors: Alex Taylor, Christina Vallianatos, and Bryan Moyers

In 2001 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists, Leland Hartwell, Tim Hunt and Paul Nurse, for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle. Normally, before a cell can divide, it must undergo several phases of the cell cycle in a precise order. First, a cell grows in size, then duplicates its DNA, and finally distributes its DNA evenly between two daughter cells. The three researchers played seminal roles in identifying the mechanisms by which cells transition from one cell cycle phase to the next.

These fundamental discoveries are not only crucial to our understanding of biology, but have applications in human disease. Many types of cancer are linked to mutations that cause cells to move quickly through or even skip some parts of the cell cycle, making cell cycle regulation a hot area of biological research. Given the implications this research has for human health, it might surprise you that many cell cycle regulators were not first discovered in humans. Instead, these cell cycle regulators were identified and characterized in model organisms including yeast and sea urchins.

“But what do I have in common with the yeast I use to bake bread?” you might ask. As it turns out, a lot more than you’d think.

Continue reading “Science Behind the Scenes: Model Organisms—The Unsung Heroes of Biomedical Research”

The budding brain: How yeast give rise to treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

By Sara Wong

What do humans and baker’s yeast have in common? Surprisingly, they share a massive amount of genetic information and are governed by many of the same cellular processes. Although yeast do not have organs or limbs, they work like human cells and can be used to study a wide range of human diseases. Yeast are cheap, grow quickly, and are easily manipulated. These qualities allow scientists who study yeast to discover new genes and pathways relatively easily compared to other model organisms, like mice. One area of yeast research focuses on understanding neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Continue reading “The budding brain: How yeast give rise to treatments for neurodegenerative diseases”