Yeast, A Poem
Scientist, artist: Science inspires art in this poem about the properties of yeast and its similarities to human cells.
By Vaishnavi Sridhar
Our bodies are made up of cells. Cells are made of different parts called organelles that communicate with each other. Proteins are required to connect different organelles and are important for efficient communication. Mutations in proteins can prevent efficient communication and can lead to diseases. The poet uses budding yeast (found in beer and bread) to study proteins required for the communication between specific organelles. There are many similarities between yeast and human cells, and it is easy to manipulate yeast and conduct studies in them. This poem gives a sneak peak into some properties of yeast and the similarities between human and yeast cells. Also highlighted are some key parts of a cell.
I am in beer, I am in bread,
And also in a popular spread.
Give me sugar and I am well fed.
There’s still a lot to be said,
So just read ahead.
I rarely make solo appearances,
But am visible in colonies,
I can be of different shapes,
And sometimes grow threads.
If I overgrow, you might need meds.
Scientists, industries, and many others,
They’re all looking for me.
I am a very popular model,
And help everyone without a frown,
Hence have become the talk of the town.
My resume goes on for pages,
And I have been around for ages.
I am easygoing, adaptable,
And low maintenance,
You can modify me without hindrance.
Because I am simple and tiny,
You may think we are unrelated,
But we are closer than you think.
If you don’t believe my words,
I will share with you the link.
What I am made of, you are too,
And this is very very true.
I have one cell, you have many,
The resemblance is uncanny.
Did you just have an epiphany?
Our cells are like cities,
Let’s go into more nitty-gritties.
I have two fences, you have one.
There are specific committees,
To let in someone.
The interior is a jelly,
A watery complex medley.
At the center is the nucleus,
The brain of the cell,
In case you were curious.
And then there are mitochondria,
They produce energy,
To save you from lethargy.
These are powerhouses of the cell,
And they have other functions as well.
There is an extensive network,
Connecting all these parts.
This is the endoplasmic reticulum,
Produces most proteins and lipids,
And is in every biology curriculum.
Tons of knowledge I have imparted,
Yet my story has just started.
I am not even midway,
There’s still a lot to say,
Let’s leave that for another day.
Image credit: Vaishnavi Sridhar
About the Author
Vaishnavi Sridhar is a PhD candidate in Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of British Columbia. She loves discussing science, taking nature walks, and cooking in her free time.