Wine, genomics and headaches

The health page on reports that David Mills, an associate professor in viticulture and enology, is using genetic mapping to take on the red wine headache. Mills is using genomic technology to look for bacteria that make the chemicals that cause the problem. Vintners should then be able to get rid of them by tweaking the fermentation conditions.

Mills approach might be called ecological genomics — instead of studying all the genes and DNA of one bug, he is trying to capture all the dozens of yeast and bacteria that live in a wine fermentation and see how they interact. The “-omics” approach is the new wave in biology, being applied to topics such as metabolism, milk and mosquitoes. More about the UC Davis Genome Center, here.

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