Picture a sizzling, mouth-watering hamburger. That gorgeous, delicious patty sitting on the plate, fresh off the char-grilled… petri dish? This was the case in last Monday in London, where the world’s first lab-grown hamburger was cooked and served in front of an invitation audience.
The burger, developed by physiologist Mark Post of the Netherlands’ Maastricht University, is one-hundred-percent real meat. Post and his team grew the meat from cow stem cells, first differentiating the sample into muscle cells then placing them in a nutrient-rich solution. As the cells formed strands of flesh, the team exercised them with light tension, making them bigger and stronger (note to A-Rod—this was done without the use of performance-enhancing drugs). The final hamburger consisted of approximately 20,000 strands and took about three months to grow. As a last step, the team colored the meat with a mixture of beet juice and saffron—without blood vessels, the muscle is an unappetizing gray.
The meat of the future?
Posted in News & Commentary, Science
- Tagged Burger, Current Events, health, Hunger, Lab, Meat, Nature, News, Science, Test tube, Vegan, Vegetarianism
Imagine a future where scientists implant memories in your brain, convincing you of memories you never experienced. Sound farfetched? In Cambridge, Massachusetts, this dream is approaching reality.
According to a recent study out of MIT, researchers have successfully embedded false memories into the brains of mice. The team, a collaboration between Japan’s Riken Brain Science Institute and MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, managed to implant fabricated realities into the animals’ minds, essentially sequencing memories the mice never had.
The mice’s brains were wired to associate shocks with the safe environment, effectively giving them false memories. Image from the Riken Institute.
Posted in News & Commentary, Science, Secrets
- Tagged 1984, Big Brother, Brain, Current Events, False memories, Hacks, MIT, Nerd, Neurology, Perspective, Science
As some of you may know, I’ve spent the last few weeks on a European excursion. The trip began in Budapest, Hungary, and I am currently exploring Berlin! Budapest is an amazing city, so I thought I’d share some of my photos and impressions with you all.
First of all some history! Budapest is the capital of Hungary, and is composed of two historically independent cities, Buda and Pest. The capital sits on the Danube River, which runs through much of Central and Eastern Europe. Hungary has been invaded many times throughout its history (most recently by the Ottoman Empire, Austria, and the Soviet Union), and these influences show in Budapest’s culture, especially in its architecture. The city served as second home for many Holy Roman Emperors, fought alongside Nazi Germany during the Second World War, and fell behind the Iron Curtain until the U.S.S.R.’s collapse in 1991.
Posted in Photography
- Tagged Budapest, culture, Current Events, Europe, History, Hungary, Interests, Nature, Photoblogging, Photography, Pictures, Travel, Vacation
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see a dinosaur in the wild? According to the minds behind TEDxDeExtinction, this may happen sooner than we think. The conference, hosted by National Geographic, will feature researchers hoping to erase the boundaries between science and science fiction. These scientists believe that in ten years cloning technology will be ready to bring extinct species back to life.
According to some scientists, this could soon be a reality.
This is not the first time geneticists have explored the possibility of resurrecting lost species. In fact, in 2009 scientists managed to clone an extinct Pyrenean ibex after the last living individual was killed by a falling tree. The animal, born to a surrogate mother goat, died after seven minutes. Even so, the cloning of the Pyrenean ibex serves as proof that given the right circumstances, extinct species can be brought back to life.
Posted in Science
- Tagged Animals, Cloning, Current Events, Education, Extinction, Nature, Nerd, News, Opinion, Perspective, Science, Science Fiction, TED
In case you were wondering what it’s like going to school in Maine (What’s that? You were!?), look no further. As you likely know, the northeastern United States witnessed record snowfall last week during Winter Storm Nemo, a perfect storm of a blizzard. The East Coast shut down as more than three feet (one meter) of snow fell over the course of forty-eight hours. If you have read The Weekly Show’s About page (and you totally should), you know that I go to school in a small town in the middle of nowhere Maine (woohoo!). I was able to record part of a subsequent storm on campus last week, so if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in Maine, check out the videos below! I have uploaded a gallery of photos for you guys as well. If you like them, be sure to visit The Weekly Show’s Photography section! Enjoy!
Also, if you are curious about what it’s like to have your eyelashes frozen together and your ears coated with ice, you should definitely drop by Maine next time we have a blizzard!
Posted in Photography
- Tagged Blizzard, College, Commentary, Current Events, Maine, Nature, Nemo, News, Photography, School, Science, Snow, Weather