The past several weeks have been busy ones for the genomics crowd. Genome scientists from around the world can now lay claim to having determined the entire genetic blueprint for five free-living species, including brewer's yeast, the most complex creature tackled thus far. Late last month, scientists from a European-led consortium of more than 70 international labs released the yeast sequence. The genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the first organism with a distinct nucleus, or eukaryote, to be fully sequenced. About one-third of yeast's 6,000 genes are similar to those in humans. Some of the common genes govern such critical processes as DNA repair and protein synthesis. The researchers will also be able to celebrate their achievements with an appropriate libation: Britain's first genetically engineered beer, which was released earlier this year. The brew, Nutfield Light, was concocted by yeast researchers at the Brewing Research Foundation in Red Hill, Surrey,...

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