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Whatcha Eating?

Test tube meat sounds a little strange but I can see where they could make it much healthier than real meat. From Cow-free Beef Proposed;

“We have to figure out how to ‘exercise’ the cells. For the right texture, you have to stretch the tissue, like a live animal would,” Matheny says.

Maybe they could generate electricity from the exercising meat.

PETA is offering 1 million dollars for the first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices. We’ve eaten western omelets when camping containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein you would swear was meat. Strangely enough, a vegetarian friend introduced me to them.

I ran across the Cow-free beef link while reading this story about high tech food production; Radical Science Aims to Solve Food Crisis. I have mixed feeling about the genetically modified foods. Inserting a gene which produces beta-carotene in rice sounds pretty harmless. When they engineer crops to produce insecticides like Bt-corn you just wonder if you are going to breed a bunch of bugs which are resistant to Bt.

Here’s a better way of dealing with pests; eat them. I mentioned eating bugs the other day. Here is another article about it; Bugs Are Considered a Delicacy in Mexico.

‘Now, these farmers are planting a cheap kind of corn, just to serve as a trap to catch grasshoppers,” he noted. ”They’ve seen that it’s better to have a crop with pests.”

Researchers note that in Aztec times, pest control was accomplished largely by eating bugs rather than spraying them.

My sister once gave me some chocolate covered bugs for Christmas. I think we tried them. I suppose it doesn’t sound much stranger than some of the sea creatures I’ve eaten. I have had snails and I wasn’t impressed. I guess I figured they must be really different than you would expect, they weren’t. Octopus on the other hand is quite good and much firmer than you might think.

Crickets must be pretty good because my cats used to eat them although they don’t seem to anymore. Our cat Amy used to catch cicadas, but she wouldn’t eat them. She would hold them in her mouth and head for her cat door. You would hear this sound getting louder and louder until she showed up with an ear splitting bug in her mouth. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s one of the reasons she is mostly deaf.

I thought making fuel from algae made sense because it’s such a simple plant with no stems or roots. In New source for biofuels discovered they take it another step and create a cyanobacteria which excrete sugars and cellulose.

Work with laboratory scale photobioreactors has shown the potential for a 17-fold increase in productivity. If this can be achieved in the field and on a large scale, only 3.5 percent of the area growing corn could be used for cyanobacterial biofuels.

Creating biofuels from food crops is really causing problems. Thousands of acres of forests are being cleared to raise palm oil and the spike in food prices is causing riots in some countries. Check out this world clock I meant to post yesterday for Earth Day. There are a lot of things on there but the loss of 8400 species a year is appalling. We are just getting to the point of being able to build new creatures like the bacteria mentioned above and it’s such a loss of potential beneficial knowledge. Biodiversity loss will lead to sick world: experts is about medicine but I read stuff all the time about spider silk and making glue which works like gecko feet.

Encyclopaedia Britannica is offering free subscriptions for bloggers.

It seems like I always have to have a link about robots. This one is strange; Robotic vigilante: Homemade ‘Bum Bot’ patrols in Atlanta.

Sort of robotic; New Prosthetic Hand So Nimble an Amputee Can Type.

I thought this article was pretty funny; Ease on Down the Road: Fuel-Efficient Drivers it’s about saving gas by how you drive. Wayne Gerdes sounds pretty extreme but when I’m at a traffic light next to someone who passed me just to get to the red light sooner, I shake my head and wonder if someone else is paying for their gas.

Solar sails have been in science fiction forever. It looks like someone may actually try it in a few years; Electric Sail Prototype to Ride the Solar Wind.

I liked this picture.

Finally, I got a laugh of this weather station.

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