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Budding with Potential
Credit: Carolyn Larabell, University of California, San Francisco, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Yeasts are everywhere. The fourth largest public collection of wild yeasts, located at the University of California, Davis, has strains of the single-celled fungi collected from Antarctic seawater, hot springs, fruit, food processing facilities, air, macaroni, a horse's tumor, human cerebrospinal fluid and dandruff. They are the reason we can brew alcohol and they may hold the potential for better biofuels and drugs. And, under the right microscope, they can be quite beautiful. The image above shows a yeast cell in the process of budding, a form of reproduction.