Researchers find connection between pigmented yeast and climate change

August 2, 2018

In the recently published paper, Impact of Yeast Pigmentation on Heat Capture and Latitudinal Distribution, researchers found that microbes in cold climates will darken themselves to capture more heat from the sun, in order to survive. This behavior is further studied to ascertain the impact the warming microbes have on the global climate, as a whole. Assistant professor Susanna Thon’s research group collaborated with Arturo Casadevall, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School. The scientists gathered various strains of pigmented yeast that were found in various geological locations to determine how much heat the yeast generated. This study is the first to find the practice of cold-blooded animals using the sun to heat up and survive in microorganisms.

Casadevall recently detailed the group’s research findings in the Hub article, Microbes go dark to stay warm in cooler climates.


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