Yeast as a model organism

For the past eighteen months Professor Andrew Fry and I have been working with the video production team at the University of Leicester to create a series of resources about the use of model organisms in medical research. The work has been funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and GENIE, the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Genetics Education.

The centrepiece of the project will be a video of about twenty minutes duration, but we are also releasing some of the material in shorter formats. Squeezed in around other tasks, filming and editing has been a slow old process (note to interested parties: never enter lightly into film production!). The first fruits of this process are, however, starting to emerge and we have recently uploaded three videos to YouTube. All three relate to the work of Professor Rhona Borts from the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester

The first video is the most concise edit and will correspond closely to the relevant section of the final film. In this clip Rhona summarises the features of yeast that make it ideal to use as a model organism.

The second video is a longer edit and includes some valuable additional details that don’t quite fit with the narrative of the final film. In particular she talks more fully about the way that research on yeast can offer insights into the molecular basis of human infertility, and how knowledge about the latter can feed back into additional work on yeast.

Finally, in the third video Rhona describes the life cycle of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which can exist in both haploid or diploid forms (i.e. with one copy of its chromosome or two copies, respectively). This make it particularly useful in regard to her work on the meiotic process.

You can read more about Rhona’s work in this article from the University of Leicester’s e-bulletin and on her departmental webpage.

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