Colourful yeast


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Most of us love brewer’s yeast, or at least the food that it’s helped us to produce since ancient times. Without Saccharomyces cerevisiae (its Latin name) we couldn’t enjoy wine, beer or most types of bread. Besides its role in food production, S. cerevisiae is also an important model organism for biologists.

Today’s Picture of the Week shows yeast cells, labelled in different colours using fluorescent dyes. The colours allow researchers to mix cells from different experiments and subsequently trace back which cell came from which experiment – this method is called barcoding.

EMBL alumnus Yury Bykov established this barcoding technique for use in conjunction with automated electron microscopy. His method makes it possible to study the tiny structures inside cells from different experiments simultaneously. This saves time for sample preparation and image acquisition, thereby speeding up the process by about 10 times.

Image: Yury Bykov / EMBL