Nature of the Research
- Wet lab/bench research
- Basic research
- Pathways and Transformation of Energy: Biological systems grow and change by processes based on chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.
- Applying the process of science
- Communicating and collaborating
- Calculate concentrations and make up solutions
- Describe the function of an enzyme with regard to metabolism
- Determine Yeast Viability
- Collect, compile, organize, analyze experimental data
- Construct a mini-poster detailing the setup and results
In our General Biology II (cell structure and biological molecules) CURE lab, students use wild-derived and industrial yeast strains to study fermentation. We investigate yeast fermentation of various substrates (artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners, fruit purees, fruit juice, etc.). Students design experiments in which they explore how different growth conditions can affect the enzymatic reactions that take place during fermentation such as temperature and pH. These projects have real world applications in commercial food production and microbiology, giving students a practical way to apply the concepts of enzymes and how enzyme activity can be altered by changes in temperature, pH, carbon source, etc.