Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Noble Pursuit

Excerpted from CP article by Chris Purdy


SASKATOON - Monique Haakensen is not just another university student who claims to have spent her academic years occupied by beer.

The 26-year-old is actually completing her PhD in pathology and laboratory medicine by researching the sudsy beverage at the University of Saskatchewan, home to one of only two labs in the world that studies beer spoilage.

"It's a good conversation starter," Haakensen says from her tiny, cluttered lab on the Saskatoon campus.

Haakensen has helped discover three new methods of detecting beer-spoiling bacteria, including a DNA-based technique, that has big breweries around the globe hoisting pints in celebration.

Breweries usually have to keep batches of beer for two to three months to make sure they haven't spoiled before cases are shipped out on trucks to liquor stores, says Haakensen.

She explains that breweries will be able to get more beer onto the market faster and save on lab costs.

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