Yeast as a platform for synthetic biology and investigation of evolutionary hypotheses
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Yeast has long been the sine qua non of model organisms due to its experimental tractability. Recent advances in biology, such as CRISPR/Cas9 editing, promise to bring this tractability to other model organism. But the same advances have also added new dimensions to the utility of yeast, and reinforced its importance as a unique platform for studying basic biology, translational research and building the future of biotechnology. In this thesis I describe (i) the use of humanized yeast to study fundamental questions about the evolution of genetic systems, (ii) rapid and versatile techniques for leveraging classical yeast techniques along with cutting edge developments to solve 21-st century problems and (iii) a blueprint for transforming yeast into a vessel for storage of digital information.