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The Rise of Yeast - How the sugar fungus shaped civilisation (Hardcover) Loot Price: R397
Discovery Miles 3 970
You Save: R82 (17%)
The Rise of Yeast - How the sugar fungus shaped civilisation (Hardcover): Nicholas P Money

The Rise of Yeast - How the sugar fungus shaped civilisation (Hardcover)

Nicholas P Money

 (2 ratings, sign in to rate)
List price R479 Loot Price R397 Discovery Miles 3 970 You Save R82 (17%)

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From breakfast toast to evening wine, yeast is the microscopic thing that we cannot live without. We knew what yeast did as an invisible brewer and baker long before we had a clue about the existence of microorganisms. Ten thousand years ago, our ancestors abandoned bush meat and wild fruit in favor of farming animals and cultivating grain. Leaving the forests and grasslands, our desire for beer and wine produced by the fungus was a major stimulus for agricultural settlement. It takes a village to run a brewery or tend a vineyard. We domesticated wild yeast and yeast domesticated us. With the inevitable escape of the fungus from beer vats into bread dough, our marriage with yeast was secured by an appetite for fresh loaves of leavened bread. Over the millennia, we have adapted the technologies of brewing, winemaking, and baking and have come to rely on yeast more and more. Yeast produces corn ethanol and other biofuels and has become the genetically-modified darling of the pharmaceutical business as a source of human insulin and a range of life-saving medicines. These practical uses of yeast have been made possible by advances in our understanding of its biology, and the power of genetic engineering has been used to modify the fungus to do just about anything we wish. We know more about yeast than any other organism built from complex cells like our own. To understand yeast is to understand life. In this book Nicholas P. Money offers a celebration of our favorite microorganism.


Imprint: Oxford UniversityPress
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Release date: February 2018
Authors: Nicholas P Money
Dimensions: 224 x 142 x 24mm (L x W x T)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 224
ISBN-13: 978-0-19-874970-7
Categories: Books > Science & Mathematics > Science: general issues > Popular science
Books > Science & Mathematics > Biology, life sciences > Molecular biology
Books > Science & Mathematics > Biology, life sciences > Mycology, fungi (non-medical)
Books > Professional & Technical > Biochemical engineering > Biotechnology > Genetic engineering
LSN: 0-19-874970-8
Barcode: 9780198749707

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My review

Wed, 27 Jun 2018 | Review by: Tanya K.

I love this book. It has actual science for intelligent people in it, with witty and amusing observations. This book takes a look at man's ancient co-dependence with yeast (the sugar fungus) and how that relationship is still going strong in the 21st century. The author first starts off with "Yeasty Basics" - a bit of yeast biology, biochemistry and history. The role of yeast in ancient and modern alcoholic beverages (beer, wine) and food (bread, marmite) is examined. True to the subtitle, the author explains how yeast's ability to ferment sugars cultivated the beginnings of civilization. The author also expands of the role of yeast beyond just brewing and baking - yeast is also been used extensively in biologicaly research and biotechnology, such as biofuel production, synthetic silk production, and the production of some medicines (e.g. insulin, blood products, vaccines, ocriplasmin). In a chapter title "Yeasts of Wrath", the role of yeasts in human health and disease has been explored. A chapter is also dedicated to different types of yeast in the wild. I found this book wildly entertaining, extremely interesting, educational and a joy to read.

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