Review: Jennifer Lopez steals the show in ‘Hustlers’

first_img“Hustlers ” saves all of its tricks for the end. It’s a banger of an ending, too, which is something that so few films manage to nail. The emotion, the stakes, the character development and the why of it all hit around the same time. This, you think, is the movie. Then suddenly it’s over just when it started to get great.Until then, “Hustlers” kind of spins its wheels in telling the true story of a group of New York City strippers who, put out by the recession’s effects on their Wall Street patrons, start a side con that involves drugging their wealthy marks and running up exorbitant credit card bills that they get a cut of. Writer and director Lorene Scafaria adapted Jessica Pressler’s nuanced and revealing New York Magazine story about the ordeal.As pure entertainment, it gets by well enough thanks in large part to Scafaria’s humane and lively filmmaking, a killer soundtrack and Jennifer Lopez, whose character Ramona might technically be the second lead, but is the honey-voiced, stiletto-sharp soul of the movie. It’s the kind of singular performance that you can’t even begin to imagine anyone else even attempting, nor would you want to. She bursts on the frame in an extended and impressive striptease to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” that has every eye and dollar in the room held captive and her grip on the camera and the audience doesn’t let up until the very end. And to watch a scene like this from the female gaze is something truly special. The women may be half naked, but it’s never gratuitous, just matter of fact.We’re welcomed into Ramona’s world through Constance Wu’s Dorothy (stage name Destiny), who is the new girl in the club, where Cardi B and Lizzo have some fun playing the other dancers. She wants to learn what Ramona knows, and Ramona becomes her de facto mentor in the ways of appealing to the different types of men they’ll come across on any given night. Soon, Dorothy/Destiny is bragging that she is pulling in as much money as a heart surgeon, and spending like it’ll always be so. With all this cash, she helps her grandmother get out of debt, but also buys an enormous Gucci purse, a Versace swimsuit and an Escalade (typically, and amusingly, with $1 bills).“Everything was so glamorous and cool,” she says, recounting her story in present day to a journalist played by Julia Stiles. But that was 2007, and pretty soon the recession would hit and their clientele would be decimated.All we know of Dorothy/Destiny’s ambition at this point is that she doesn’t want to be dependent on anyone. Fair enough, but it’s not a lot to go on (even with the introduction of a daughter), especially when she and Ramona and a few other girls, Mercedes (Keke Palmer) and Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) start drugging their marks to make ends meet and keep themselves bedecked in designer wares.There’s only so much a movie can do with so many complex issues swirling around — the often gross entitlement and bravado of the men dropping thousands of dollars at a strip club regularly, the effect their words and actions have on the women they paid, the inner lives that led all these people to the club every night and the intoxicating allure of the money being thrown around so cavalierly.“Hustlers” is curiously being positioned as a Robin Hood-in-platforms story of populist revenge, but it doesn’t really reconcile with their means. They justify it saying that they’re just doing what all the titans of business have been doing to the country for years. But then they go off and spend their money on all the capitalist wealth signifiers that their targets are after too. One of the “happiest” scenes is a Christmas party at Ramona’s plush high rise apartment where the gifts being exchanged include a long strand of Mikimoto pearls, another Gucci bag, a fur coat and some Christian Louboutin boots. It starts to feel a little gross.The film is at its best when it’s about the bond between the women, but it’s a theme that doesn’t hit home until far too late. Perhaps it’s a problem in the structure of the story. It withholds so much information about Destiny until the very end that it’s a struggle to care or empathize with her for the bulk of the movie.“Hustlers” would have benefited from a little more of a tease.“Hustlers,” an STXFilms release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for “pervasive sexual material, drug content, language and nudity.” Running time: 107 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.MPAA Definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahrlast_img read more

WNBA teams ready for sprint to end of the regular season

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — With the WNBA All-Star break in the rearview mirror teams are ready for the sprint to the of the regular season. All 12 teams will play eight or nine games over the next few weeks setting the stage for what should be of the most exciting final few weeks of the regular season in league history. There are only four losses separating second place Atlanta and ninth-place Las Vegas.“It’s going to be a wild last few weeks,” said Washington’s Elena Delle Donne, whose team lost the All-Star game 119-112 on Saturday.The Mystics are currently in seventh place, but can easily move up the standings with a few consecutive wins. Just ask Atlanta, which has won a franchise record eight straight games to vault into second place in the standings.The only team that’s been eliminated from the playoff chase is Indiana.POWER POLL: A look at this week’s WNBA poll which Seattle sits atop :1. Seattle (19-7): Storm only need a few more wins to clinch a playoff berth and are in the best position to lock up one of the coveted top two seeds.2. Atlanta (16-9): Have definitely been the surprise of the league this season and the Dream play five of their final nine games at home.3. Minnesota (15-10): Put on quite a show hosting the All-Star game and have momentum heading down the stretch with three straight wins.4. Los Angeles (15-11): Sparks are getting healthy for the stretch run, Alana Beard has recovered from a groin injury and Nneka Ogwumike is back from an undisclosed illness.5. Phoenix (15-11): Could have most favorable schedule with seven of final nine games at home, then again the Mercury are a shocking 5-6 at Phoenix this season.6. Dallas (14-11): Wings faltered a bit before the break, dropping their final two games. They close the season with four of five on the road.7. Connecticut (14-12): Has six of final eight games at home and four games against teams currently in the playoffs.8. Washington (14-11): Is only 4-7 against teams from the old Western Conference and has seven of final nine against those squads.9. Las Vegas (12-13): Whether the Aces make the playoffs or not, they have a solid foundation in A’ja Wilson and Kayla McBride.10. Chicago (9-17): Sky wouldn’t mind seeing Las Vegas make the playoffs to improve WNBA draft lottery position.11. New York (7-18): Pretty much locked into the fourth spot in the draft lottery, Liberty are trying to play with more consistency down the stretch.12. Indiana (3-22): Have shown they can play with the best, their three wins have come against Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minnesota.___PLAYER OF THE WEEK:Sylvia Fowles had 27 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in the Minnesota Lynx win over New York. Other players receiving votes were Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry, Chicago’s Diamond DeShields and Seattle’s Breanna Stewart.___SHOOTING DISPLAY:Allie Quigley defended her 3-point shooting title at the All-Star game, beating Kayla McBride in overtime of the contest. Quigley hit an impressive 20 of the 25 shots in the extra round to finish with 29 out of a possible 34 points. That’s the most points scored ever in a WNBA or NBA shooting contest since the rules changed in 2014 putting in an all-money ball rack where each shot is worth two points.___IT’S IN THE SHOES:Puma became an official footwear partner with the WNBA last week, marking the company’s first deal with a pro sports league. Skylar Diggins-Smith became a brand ambassador for Puma last season and wore a pair of their shoes in the All-Star game.___WATCH ME:Fans tuned in to watch the new All-Star format that pitted Team Delle Donne against Team Parker. Ratings were up 20 percent.___GAME OF THE WEEKLas Vegas at Connecticut, Sunday. This game will go a long way in determining the Aces’ chances of making the playoffs. As the winner will have the tiebreaker between the teams.___Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg In this June 13, 2018, file photo, Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) celebrates with teammate Monique Currie (25) after being fouled by Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike during the second half of a WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn. All 12 teams will play eight or nine games over the next few weeks setting up for one of the most exciting final few weeks of the regular season in league history with only four losses separating second place Atlanta from ninth-place Las Vegas. “It’s going to be a wild last few weeks,” said Elena Delle Donne. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day via AP, File)last_img read more

Master craftsman dominates list of Pakenham’s best

first_imgBy DAVID NAGEL ROB Webster says there is no magic wand that Pakenham’s best-ever horse trainer, his father Ray ‘Darby’…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

It’s Julie time for help

first_imgBy Aneeka Simonis SHE’S single-handedly raised two kids on her own and is always on hand to help when someone…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Leafs travel to Kimberley to face Nitros; host Rockies Saturday

first_imgIt’s not the best-case scenario facing the Nelson Leafs, but the Green and White are embracing another shot at the defending Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Champions.Nelson, 18-6-1-1, first in the Murdoch Division, takes a depleted lineup into the Bavarian City to face the Eddie Mountain leading Kimberley Dynamiters as the Junior B Hockey League gears up for another weekend of competition. Nelson is missing no less than six players heading into Friday’s tilts against the Nitros in a showdown between the top two teams in the Kootenay Conference.Missing from the lineup is the top netminder in the KIJHL, Caiden Krietz, defencemen Kalem Hanlon and Alek Erichuk and forwards Brady Miller and Scott Lancaster.Goalie Hunter Young is missing his second game of a two-game suspension picked up in Spokane last week. The result of Young suspension, and Kreitz still on the shelf, forced Nelson to once again call on the services of Kootenay Ice affiliate Tenzin Mint between the pipes against the Nitros.Mint was solid in his last outing with Nelson, posting a 5-0 shutout of Castlegar Rebels. Looking on the bright side, Nelson sees the return of high-scoring forward Scott Campbell, Mitch Lavoie from suspension as well fans get a look at newly-acquired 5’10”, 175-pound forward Cole Wyatt. Wyatt comes to Nelson from West Kelowna Warriors of the BC Hockey League. The Alberta native played 11 games for West Kelowna this season.“(Cole) is a solid offensive threat and a great two-way player,” Leaf GM Lance Morey told the media this week.Morey said Wyatt will be with the Leafs for the remainder of the season.Nelson needs more offence after the departure of Ryan Piva last month to the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 17 games with Nelson, Piva registered 32 points including 14 goals.Rockies pay visit to Heritage CitySaturday, Nelson is back at home to host Columbia Valley Rockies of the Eddie Mountain Division at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Nelson will be looking to avenge a loss earlier this season to the Rockies in Invermere.Former Leaf Ben Kelsch stole the show, stopping 39 of 41 shots to edge his former mates 4-2. Nelson peppered Kelsch with 26 shots in the third period.Leafs former goalie is also returning the NDCC Arena after being traded to Columbia Valley last week.last_img read more

US$700,000 for natural gas to electricity generation study

first_imgGovernment has approved some US0,000 into a study that would seek to determine if natural gas could be utilised for electricity generation.Minister of State Joseph Harmon said the proposal by Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson was given approval by Cabinet on Tuesday.The two-month desk study will be undertaken by Energy Narrative, a United States oil and gas consultancy firm.During the eight-week period, energy work will seek to verify natural gas supply projections, verify natural gas demands projections, analyse the technical feasibility of the proposed natural gas pipeline, compare the proposed natural gas pipeline with other transportation media, analyse the technical feasibility of existing power generation equipment, integrating new gas fired electricity generation equipment, analyse the cost to deliver natural gas and estimated impact on electricity prices and prepare the interim report.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman on Wednesday evening told the local business community that the Government has decided to bring the natural gas to shore.The latest information from ExxonMobil, which will be producing Guyana’s first oil, quantifies the available natural gas, which was found along with the oil, at around 30-50 million cubic feet per day.Trotman said that amount can provide a 200 megawatt generation plant.However, Government is still to decide how the natural gas will be used.The considerations for the use of the gas include generating electricity, and fuelling the alumina plant if it is resuscitated or used in industry.Minister Trotman said those are decisions that have to be made along with the decision on where the gas will go if there was going to be a pipeline along the coast whether from Georgetown to Crab Island.The company has submitted its financial and technical proposals to the Government, Minister Harmon noted.last_img read more

Marshfield boys tennis wins WVC finale over Wisconsin Rapids

first_imgTigers end WVC season with 2-3 recordBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — Bryce Gadke and Jacob Limmex each won in straight sets, and the Marshfield boys tennis team finished its Wisconsin Valley Conference regular-season schedule with a 4-3 win over Wisconsin Rapids on Thursday at the Boson Courts.Gadke won at the No. 1 singles and Limmex at No. 2 by identical 6-3, 6-3 scores.Dylan Handrich and Sam Trudeau won in straight sets at No. 1 doubles, and Tanner Boson and Tom Kruger won in three sets, 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3, at No. 3 doubles for Marshfield’s other two wins.The Tigers finish the WVC dual meet schedule with a 2-3 record. Marshfield will compete at the Tomah Quad on Saturday and at the Wisconsin Valley Conference Tournament on Tuesday at Wausau East and West high schools.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Marshfield 4, Wisconsin Rapids 3Singles: 1. Bryce Gadke (M) def. Dane Steidl 6-3, 6-3; 2. Jacob Limmex (M) def. Zach Gilmaster 6-3, 6-3; 3. Tyler Wolosek (WR) def. John Weisenberger 6-2, 5-7, 6-1; 4. Ryan Graczkowski (WR) def. Tyler Droste 6-1, 6-1.Doubles: 1. Dylan Handrich-Sam Trudeau (M) def. Josh Beyer-Stevie Hanzlik 6-3, 6-1; 2. Sam O’Shasky-Shane Glinski (WR) def. Austin Christianson-Jared Draxler 6-1, 6-1; 3. Tanner Boson-Tom Kruger (M) def. Luke Mertes-Marcus Bean 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3.Records: Wisconsin Rapids 1-4; Marshfield 2-3.last_img read more

Scripps hooks duo to lead major biomedical institute

first_imgA pair of old fishing buddies is now steering the ship at the Scripps Research Institute, one of the world’s largest private basic biomedical research institutes. Today, Steve Kay, formerly the dean of the college of arts and sciences at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles was announced as Scripps’s president, whereas Peter Schultz, currently a Scripps chemist and director of the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) in San Diego, was named CEO. Kay will be in charge of day-to-day operations, whereas Schultz will lay out Scripps’s long-term strategic plan.The announcement likely brings to a close a contentious chapter at Scripps, which has campuses in San Diego, California, and Jupiter, Florida. Just over a year ago, Scripps faculty led a revolt against the institute’s former leadership amid financial troubles and merger discussions with USC. The appointments also portend a new push aimed at marrying the institute’s historical strength in basic biomedical research with translational medicine designed to turn research leads into novel treatments.“It’s a very exciting move,” says Peter Kim, formerly the head of the Merck Research Laboratories and now a biochemist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. In addition to running Calibr, Schultz previously led the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), and has been a founder of eight startups involved in using robotics and other high throughput technologies to advance biomedicine and materials science. Before joining USC, Kay also worked with Schultz at Scripps and GNF. Together the pair has raised well over $1 billion in backing from pharma companies, foundations, and private donations in their recent positions.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Scripps is “very fortunate” to have landed both to share the top duties at the institute, Kim says. Phil Baran, a Scripps chemist and member of the search committee that selected Kay and Schultz, agrees. “I think everyone here will be relieved that we have icons charting the course of the ship, which will let us go back to doing science,” he says.The ship’s previous course got a bit turbulent. Last July, Scripps’s board of trustees called off merger talks with USC after the Scripps faculty revolted. The potential marriage was offered as a way out of the red for Scripps, which had seen a sharp drop in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). USC at the time was flush, in the midst of a $6 billion capital campaign. The university also has a medical school, which meant potentially easier access to clinical research for Scripps’s stable of basic biomedical researchers. But Scripps faculty feared loss of autonomy and objected loudly to news of the merger talks. Ultimately, Scripps’s then-President and CEO Michael Marletta resigned, cell biologist Jim Paulson was named as an interim president and CEO, and a search committee was formed to find a new direction.An emphasis on translationThe centerpiece of this new direction, say Kay and Schultz, will be a long-term push into translational research. Like most academic institutions, today Scripps sticks mainly to basic research, discovering the molecular underpinnings of health and disease. Pharmaceutical companies, by contrast, focus most of their efforts at the other end of the drug development pipeline, moving potential drug compounds through human clinical trials into the market. The space between basic science and drug approval—the translational piece—has come to be known as the “valley of death,” because many promising findings never make it to market. Translational researchers must take promising early-stage compounds and go through a host of refinements to improve measures such as how long compounds last in the body and how well they move through the bloodstream, find their targets, and minimize their toxicity.Kay and Schultz say they plan to form alliances with Calibr and other institutes to ease the path for Scripps faculty to do much of this translational research in house. By doing so, they say, this will ensure that more compounds make it into human trials, bring extra licensing royalties into the institute, and, ultimately, improve the lives of patients. “If we are successful, not only are we making new medicines that can help people, we are potentially creating additional financial resources [for Scripps],” Schultz says.Scripps already has a strong track record for getting medicines into the clinic. According to the institute, eight compounds originally discovered at Scripps are now on the market, while another 30 are in various stages of clinical development. Those were developed, in part, as a byproduct of previous alliances in which pharmaceutical companies payed for rights to develop would-be drugs discovered at Scripps, as well as through the more traditional approach of licensing early-stage compounds to startup companies that then raise money to develop them further.That model, particularly finding institutional backing from pharma companies, “probably no longer works,” Schultz says. Today, large pharma companies are more averse to risking money on unproven therapies, and thus more apt to sit on the sidelines until compounds advance at least until early-stage human clinical trials. That forces biotech companies that license compounds to do much of the translational research themselves, something they aren’t always best suited to do.To make matters worse, when research institutes license their promising compounds very early in development, the terms of such deals often aren’t great for the basic researchers. The institute doesn’t get much money, and researchers lose control over what happens to their compounds, says Patrick Griffin, who runs a translational research center at Scripps in Florida. Many compounds then go on to fail—not because they aren’t effective, Griffin adds, but because companies decide to move in a different business direction. “If you can move a [would-be drug] along in a nonprofit, you can nurture it so it has a better opportunity to advance,” Griffin says. “Fewer will fail, and you will have more shots on goal,” of making it to market, he says.Those extra shots are critical, Griffin and others say, because 95% of all would-be drugs fail during development. When costs of the failures are added in, the price of bringing a new drug to market is well over $1 billion. That has not only caused large pharma companies to back away from early-stage drug discovery, but it has forced them to pursue primarily large-market blockbuster drugs for common conditions such as heart disease and cancer, while avoiding medicines for rare diseases.As a nonprofit focused on translational research, Calibr has already begun to change this arrangement in a small way. Today, the institute, which opened in 2012, has a staff of only about 110 people and an annual budget of some $25 million. But thanks to early progress on would-be drugs for neglected diseases, Calibr has already attracted funding from nonprofit foundations such as the Wellcome Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Schultz says the institute expects to put four to six drugs into the clinic over the next year or two.Cutting costsSchultz and Kay plan to take more immediate actions to shore up Scripps’s finances. According to a July report by Fitch, a bond rating agency, Scripps’ finances are “stable.” But the institute has operated in the red for years, and has been forced to cover its deficit by drawing down its endowment, which shrunk from $430 million in fiscal year 2012 to $397 million in fiscal year 2014.One move that could save $12 million annually would be to replace nearly 37,000 square meters of leased lab space with two newly constructed buildings owned by Scripps. Schultz and Kay say they continue to explore an existing plan to raise more than $100 million to pay for the buildings. “That would have a big impact pretty quick,” Griffin says. But ultimately, he says, Scripps’s stability will be decided on how effective Schultz and Kay are in hooking together formerly disparate parts of the drug development pipeline, and how many would-be drugs the fishing buddies manage to snare in their net.*Correction, 18 September, 3:07 p.m.: This story incorrectly identified Scripps as the world’s largest basic biomedical research institute. It is among the world’s largest private biomedical research institutes.last_img read more

Brewer’s yeasts mate inside the guts of hibernating wasps

first_imgIf you can tell French Chardonnay from Italian, you might have an annoying insect to thank. Microbes that live on grape plants—specifically, yeast of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae—vary from place to place in ways that cause subtle but detectable differences in the taste of the resulting wine. Now, researchers have found that different strains of the yeast mingle and mate like crazy inside the guts of hibernating wasps. The findings suggest that wasps might help to foster yeast biodiversity, with important implications for ecology and industry.S. cerevisiae is one of the most widely cultivated fungi in the world—used not only in winemaking, but also in baking, brewing, and lab experiments. But researchers have known little about its ecology in the wild, where it grows on ripe fruit.Thanks to the new results, reported online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they know a lot more. “It’s the first evidence that shows that in the gut environment, S. cerevisiae can [produce spores], germinate, and mate,” says Duccio Cavalieri, a biologist at the University of Florence in Italy, who led the project.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)When Cavalieri and his collaborators first reported finding yeast in wasp intestines in a 2012 paper, they speculated that wasps feeding on yeasty grapes might transfer the yeast from fruit to fruit during warmer months and provide a safe place for it to wait out the winter. But they didn’t know what happened to the yeast during its months inside a hibernating wasp.To find out, they fed European paper wasps five different strains of S. cerevisiae each. After letting the wasps hibernate for as long as 4 months, they compared the gut-dwelling yeast with colonies that came from the same starting strains but were grown in the lab instead. The different S. cerevisiae strains from the wasps had bred with each other just as much as they had in the controls. In addition, some of the wasps’ S. cerevisiae strains had mated with S. paradoxus, a related species of wild yeast that doesn’t normally breed with S. cerevisiae in the wild.Together, the results show that the wasp’s belly is more than just a holding chamber for yeast. The yeast are “living, dying, battling for resources, all within this wasp,” says Anne Madden, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who was not involved in the study.The fact that S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus were able to mate inside the wasps means the gut environment could propagate hybrid strains that wouldn’t otherwise occur, the researchers argue.The findings suggest that wasps may be much more important than usually thought, Madden says. “What’s often perceived as a pest species by humans can have incredible relevance, not only to our understanding of greater ecology, but in terms of having real commercial and industrial value,” she says. “What we’re beginning to learn is that there’s wide unexplored world of microbes and bugs—insects, spiders, mites.”For instance, beers and wines have regional flavor difference influenced in part by their microbes, including yeasts. “Maintaining this uniqueness requires maintaining the uniqueness of the microbial communities,” says Cavalieri, who comes from a long line of vintners. Wasps could help. But he also thinks there’s a larger ecological context for the work.“We normally wage chemical warfare against insects all over the place,” he says. “What our findings are basically saying is that if we continue killing the wasps, we lose a fundamental part of the ecological cycle.” Cavalieri’s team is investigating whether similar processes occur in other insects, such as ants.Not everyone is convinced. Matthew Goddard, a biologist at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand, notes that the team didn’t directly demonstrate that the yeast reproduced within the gut. But Cavalieri says his group’s microbiology techniques make it extremely unlikely that the yeast formed cross-species hybrids after they were removed from the wasps.last_img read more