Say hello to your cousin — the yeast!

Yeast cell

Diagram showing a yeast cell. Image credit*

Among the weird and wonderful factiods in Terrence Deacon’s UC Berkeley course Introduction to Biological Anthropology (iTunes) is this one from lecture 5: we humans are more closely related genetically to yeast then we are to maize. Think of that the next time you eat cornbread or suffer from a yeast infection.

Deacon’s class is a fascinating mix of biology, genetics, animal ethology and anthropology, as he works his way from single-celled organisms up to human physiology and the evolution of culture. He emphasizes how humans are related to all of the other lifeforms on our planet, and how Darwin’s theories help explain our place in the world.

*Image credit: Wikipedia, by Frankie Robertson.  Creative Commons License.
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