The evolution of multicellularity was one of the most important evolutionary transitions in the history of life. It profoundly affected the biological diversity and complexity. We've shown that it is possible to experimentally investigate the origin of multicellularity, by experimentally evolving Baker's yeast. All it takes is yeast and continued selection for faster settling rate to evolve these "snowflakes." We use multicellular yeast to answer evolutionary questions such as the evolution of aging, complexity, and modularity.
Want more information? Read our Multicellular Yeast Primer or even read the published paper yourself - it's open access! The news articles listed below also contain information meant for a general audience. Also, please see this blog post by Carl Zimmer which includes further comments from the authors regarding criticisms of the paper.
Questions? Contact Michael Travisano.
Multicellular Yeast in the News:
CBC Radio: Quirks and Quarks
Huffington Post: Scientists Demonstrate Evolution of Multicellularity in Experiment by Rebecca Searles
The Hindi: Yeast Evolves to Multicellular Variety in 60 Days in the Lab by R. Prasad
The State Column: Scientists create multicellular life using gravity and pressure
Ars Technica: Researchers evolve a multicellular yeast in the lab in 2 months by John Timmer
ScienceDaily: Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step
New York Times: Yeast Experiment Hints at a Faster Evolution from Single Cells by Carl Zimmer
Nature News: Yeast suggest speedy start for multicellular life by Ed Yong
The Scientist: Evolving Multicellularity by Jef Akst
Scientific American: Test Tube Yeast Evolve Multicellularity by Sarah Fecht
Wired: Multicellular Life Evolves in Laboratory by Brandon Keim
Wired UK: Selfless yeast sheds light on origins of multicellular life by Duncan Geere
Not Exactly Rocket Science: How I became we, which became I again by Ed Yong
Scientific American Blogs: Evolution: The Rise of Complexity by Christie Wilcox
Digital Journal: Yeast experiment suggests rapid start for multicellular life by Kev Hedges
The Daily Galaxy: Evolution from Single to Multi-Cellularity
Science: Evolutionary Time Travel by Elizabeth Pennisi
Science News: Multicellular life arises in a test tube by Susan Milius
80beats: Yeast Can Evolve into Multicellular Organisms in a Few Short Months (June 23, 2011)
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