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Researcher Studies Yeast to Understand Reactions to Stress

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To understand how individuals respond differently to stress and exposure to herbicides like roundup, West Virginia University biologist Jennifer Gallagher is looking at small variations in humans' genetic makeup.

But instead of studying human cells, she's studying yeast.  

Yeast’s ability to grow, divide, age and metabolize food is similar to human cells and provides researchers with a nearly perfect specimen to study cell processes and genetic variation, according to a press release.

The hope is that by using yeast, she can get a bigger picture about how human cells function under stress and exposure to herbicides than she would be able to using human subjects.

The research is funded through a $250,000, two-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

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