Natalie Elliot New scholarship reveals a Bard brooding over the science of his day. What can we learn from his vision of cosmic upheaval? In Act V of Hamletafter Hamlet has killed Polonius, Ophelia has died, and Hamlet has returned to Denmark from his murderous trip to England, he happens upon two gravediggers. It is an odd and puzzling scene, and a noticeable departure from the rising action of the play.
Steak of the Art: When you factor in the fertilizer needed to grow animal feed and the sheer volume of methane expelled by cows mostly, though not entirely, from their mouthsa carnivore driving a Prius can contribute more to global warming than a vegan in a Hummer.
In this vision of the future, our steaks are grown in vats rather than in cows, with layers of cow cells nurtured on complex machinery to create a cruelty-free, sustainable meat alternative. Cell culture is one of the most expensive and resource-intensive techniques in modern biology.
Keeping the cells warm, healthy, well-fed, and free of contamination takes incredible labor and energy, even when scaled to the 10,liter vats that biotech companies use. In addition, even in those sophisticated vats, the three-dimensional techniques that would be required to grow actual steaks with a mix of muscle and fat have not been invented yet, though not for lack of trying.
This technology would primarily benefit our ability to make artificial organ replacements. Add on top of that the fact that these three-dimensional wads of meat would have to be exercised regularly with stretching machinery, essentially elaborate meat gyms, and you can begin to understand the incredible challenge of scaling in vitro meat.
Cell culture is hideously expensive, not to mention technically difficult. Even beyond this mechanical engineering issue, when we consider the other raw materials, the nutrients that will feed and sustain these stem cells as they grow into our dinner, the large-scale sustainability of in vitro meat can be called into question.
In fact, of all the fantastic claims of lab-grown meat, the most far-fetched given current technology is that in vitro meat will be cruelty-free. Of course, many tissue engineers are trying to come up with cheaper and cruelty-free alternatives to fetal calf serum. Algae is currently a much-trumpeted replacement: Algae are remarkable organisms, and they are especially important because their photosynthetic efficiency, the rate at which they convert sunlight into sugars, is significantly higher than plants like corn.
This efficiency allows for the production of the same amount of stuff in a much smaller area, with fewer inputs. Scaling, it turned out, killed these plans the last time we tried them. Scaling algae production in open ponds proved an enormous challenge, with the gains in efficiency fading as the controlled environment of the lab was traded for ponds where cells crowded and shaded each other while having to fight off infections and predators.
At the same time as algae failed to deliver, the Green Revolution significantly improved yields of conventional crops, and algae was slowly transformed into a specialty product rather than the base of the food pyramid. The real issue is the ever-growing demand for meat, and our unwillingness to eat less of it, regardless of the environmental cost.
Perhaps someday soon we will be able to outgrow our taste for flesh, not by producing it artificially or by genetically engineering people to be disgusted by meat another far-out fix but by changing the price of meat to reflect its true environmental cost.
Meat image via Shutterstockcell culture image via Shutterstock.Newton's Reflecting Telescope Essays: Over , Newton's Reflecting Telescope Essays, Newton's Reflecting Telescope Term Papers, Newton's Reflecting Telescope Research Paper, Book Reports.
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THE SPIKE. It was late-afternoon. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much. The Hand of God: Thoughts and Images Reflecting the Spirit of the Universe [Michael Reagan] on ashio-midori.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
The Hand of God combines inspiration for the mind and spirit by juxtaposing what Astronomy magazine has called “the most beautiful astrophotos ever taken” with illuminating words of scientists.
This essay will be mainly discussing optical telescopes.
Reflecting telescope A reflecting telescope (also called a reflector) is an optical telescope which uses a single or combination of curved mirrors that reflect light and form an image. While at Oxford, Robert Hooke was an assistant to the famed philosopher Robert Boyle.
In , he published his famous book "Micrographia" based on his studies of plant tissue.