Aleph Farms has created the first lab-grown steak

December 25, 2018 by  
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The demand for meat alternatives continues to grow as millions switch to vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets for health, ethical and environmental reasons, and food companies around the world are starting to focus their efforts on plant-based and lab-grown products that can take the place of animal-sourced meats. Aleph Farms recently reached an important milestone in cellular meat production by serving up the first lab-grown steak, made from isolated cow cells and grown into a 3D structure. According to the company, the steak has the same texture as conventional meat, and it also has the same smell. But, they still need to refine the taste and thickness. The current prototype is 5 mm thick, and a small strip costs $50, but Aleph Farms co-founder and CEO Didier Toubia says that is a huge step in the right direction because five years ago, the first lab-grown beef burger cost $283.500. “The cost would come down as the production process was moved from the lab to a scalable commercial facility,” said Toubia. The steak probably won’t be commercially available for another three or four years. But, when it does hit the market, Toubia believes that it will catch on like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger and help bridge the gap between people who do not want to completely give up meat and the need to reduce global meat consumption. Related: 3D-printed vegan steak could aid world hunger relief efforts The industry that is making alternatives to animal-sourced meats is booming, growing at a rate of 20 percent a year. The demand is so high that companies can’t keep up, and the gigantic U.S. meat industry is starting to take notice. Meat companies learned a lesson from the plant-based milk revolution, and they are focusing their efforts on shaping the regulatory environment for their new competitors. Joshua Tetrick, co-founder of the food company Just, says that cell-based meat will upend the market because the process will be able to feed people around the world. “Probably the biggest obstacle outside of the scientific ones is getting folks used to the idea that we don’t need to slaughter animals en masse and deal with our waste to enjoy a nice Turkey dinner for Thanksgiving,” Tetrick says. Via NPR , Treehugger Image via Shutterstock

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Aleph Farms has created the first lab-grown steak

Scientists grow test tube human brains with potential to think and feel

October 11, 2016 by  
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A group of Cambridge scientists are attempting to grow human brains outside of the body in a lab. But they don’t look anything like what you might imagine. The “cerebral organoids” are made with stem cells derived from human skin and raised in giant incubators. Without any kind of blood supply, they receive nutrients by soaking in a special fluid. And these brains are tiny, small enough to fit in a petri dish – about four millimeters across and crammed with about two million neurons. For the sake of comparison, a fully developed mouse brain contains four million neurons. The average adult human brain, up to 1,000 trillion. Just like a normal brain, these bundles of cells contain a mixture of gray matter and white matter. They even form specific regions like the cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, and many more. In the end, they are equivalent to what might be seen in a nine-week-old fetus. However, while the neurons in these tiny organoids do communicate and fire with electrical activity, they aren’t capable of thoughts or feelings in the way we would understand it. Dr. Madeline Lancaster compares their neural activity to the way heart cells can be made to beat in a petri dish. While they are alive, the lack of a body or any sensory input means they aren’t receiving any of the information that could lead to consciousness. If lab-grown brains were hooked up to an EEG, no brain waves would be observed. Related: Austrian Scientists Grow Mini Human Brains in a Lab However, consciousness is not the goal of this research. Instead, Lancaster is interested in uncovering some key differences between humans and other primates. Our DNA is only 1.2 percent different from chimpanzees, yet somehow we have completely different intellectual capabilities. Her team is replacing individual genes involved in brain development with genes from chimpanzees , and observing how the replacements influence the growth of the specimens. In other labs, organoids like these are being used to learn more about human development – for example, what makes the brain of someone with schizophrenia or autism different from a normal brain . The inability to identify these disorders in other animals has made researching them in the lab impossible. (And while there are a lot of reasons not to support animal testing , dissecting the brains of living humans is obviously unethical as well.) Instead, researchers can use this technology and a stem cells from patients to learn more about how their neurons function. This has already led to some interesting insights into the development of autism, and will likely reveal even more hidden knowledge in time. Via Digital Journal Images via Cambridge University

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Scientists grow test tube human brains with potential to think and feel

VELLO launches the world’s first folding electric bike that can charge itself

October 11, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll3s9RpXF4o The VELLO BIKE+ features a variety of innovations designed to revolutionize the experience of cycling in the city. According to VELLO, the bike is the ” smallest and lightest electric folding bike on the market .” It weighs around 26 pounds and is 21 by 28 by 9 inches big. It folds down in seconds to fit under a desk or in a car trunk, and users can map their route or remotely lock the VELLO BIKE+ via an app. Related: Foldable bike scooter combo runs entirely on electricity Because the bike charges itself, riders never need to plug it in! It harvests energy when riders brake or pedal using an integrated kinetic energy recovery system. The amount of energy generated depends on factors like road slope and pedaling speed. A 250W motor gives riders an electric boost, but according to VELLO the bike is still easy to pedal when power assistance is switched off. VELLO says users can ride for around 20 miles at 15 miles per hour on a full charge without any effort. Co-founder Valentin Vodev said in a statement, “For us converting ideas into products is a metamorphosis from the common to the unexplored – a discovery through which we can define new functions and forms.” With just under a month to go, VELLO has raised over $170,000 out of a $89,540 goal on Kickstarter. You can back the project here – the early bird price is 1,599 Euros, or about $1,799. + VELLO

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VELLO launches the world’s first folding electric bike that can charge itself

Artist grows living letters in a Petri dish – with bacteria

September 4, 2015 by  
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Designer Ori Elisar ’s new project gives new meaning to the premise that language is organic. The Jerusalem-based creator’s “Living Typeface” is a collection of letters sprouted from a Petri dish. Made from bacteria , the blue-hued living letters poetically grow from the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet into modern Hebrew, all before the microscope lens. Read the rest of Artist grows living letters in a Petri dish – with bacteria

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Artist grows living letters in a Petri dish – with bacteria

Jaw-dropping scale of Apple’s spaceship campus revealed in new drone footage

September 4, 2015 by  
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