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Yeasties

You may know that bread is delicious, but did you know that your favorite fluffy breads wouldn’t exist without the help of a tiny fungus? Breads owe their scrumptious flavor and airy texture to a single-celled microbe, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, better known as baker’s yeast! In this month's box, your steminists will be taking on the role of a food scientist using the kitchen as their laboratory for investigating these yeasty beasties! They’ll be exploring the effect of different sugars and temperatures on the respiration of yeast by measuring the CO2 gas released in each reaction. Steminists will be able to put these experiment results to use in your last experiment by baking bread!

Experiment Instructional Videos

Research Yeast on the Web!

  • Yeast in Cancer Research

    Sure, baker's yeast helps make some of our favorite pastries and breads, but it turns out that yeasts also make fantastic genetic models. Due to the relatively short cell life cycles, scientists have been able to identify where some key genetic mutations occur and how they can lead to cancer. This kind of work is advancing the treatment and prevention of cancer every day.
    Read about cancer research!

    Cell Signaling in Yeast Reproduction

    This month StemBox explored just one cell function of yeast, the respiration of yeast cells. However, for cells to live, die, multiply, and adapt there are a flurry of other cell signals required to get the job done. The Khan Academy does a great job of exploring and explaining the signals that lead to yeast reproduction, the next logical step in this adventure!
    Visit Khan Academy!

    Budding Yeast Cells

    If you checked out the cell signaling lesson from Khan Academy, you're probably ready to see how yeast reproduce in a video! The "mother" cell will begin to a relase a small bud, alson known as a "bleb". This mother cell's nucleus will split and migrate during the budding with the new bud. Once the bud is fully formed, it pops off the mother cell and the "daughter" cell is made! This budding can occur on average 5 times per cell and leaves budding scars on the mother.
    Watch yeast bud!

  • Bread Enzymes

    Emily Buehler, the writer of this blog post on Scientific American dives into her own breadbaking adventure. In this article, Buehler takes the time to even hand-draw the enzymatic reactions happening in baking that result in delicious treatas. If you like storytelling and science, this is a great read!
    Read the article!

    Bread Science 101

    This page is a great introductory lesson to the science of bread! From flours to yeast, this site will get you pointed in the right direction to find more information.
    Special bonus: check out their graphic animation of the role that gluten plays in bread!

    How Sourdough Bread Works

    In this month's experiment, we learned about how yeast, a single-celled fungus, releases carbon dioxide as a result of respiration to give bread its rise and fluffy texture. But something more complex than that happens in sourdough bread.We'll give you a hint though: it requires another single-celled organism!
    What's the other organism?

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Steminists in action!

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Troubleshooting the
Yeast Box

Yes, these thermometers are made by US Scientific and are mercury free.

Yes! If you're still interested in comparing the variables of sugar and temperature on bread baking you'll just have to make sure you continue to use the same type of yeast for each loaf to control for the type of yeast used.

Try experimenting with even more types of sweeteners! Here are a few more recommendations: honey, agave, Sweet'N Low (saccharin), Stevia (glycoside), and Truvia (erythritol). You can also vary the amounts of salt you use in your recipes to see what effect salt has on bread!

If your StemBox is missing pieces or you're having other issues, email us!
support@stembox.zendesk.com
We are happy to help and will do our best to send you a replacement piece ASAP!