Tech & Science A Bay Area startup is working to make 'air meat' using protein-producing microbes discovered by NASA
NASA just cracked open a pristine Apollo moon rock sample
The sample of lunar rock and soil dates to the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.The space agency had the foresight to sock away samples from Apollo missions for later study once technology had advanced. Now's the time for some of these samples to step into the science limelight.
- A Bay Area startup is producing by relying on on a class of microbes that convert carbon dioxide into protein the same way plants do.
- The microbes produce a powder than could replace soy or pea protein in plant-based meat products.
- The conversion process was discovered by NASA when it tried to grow food for astronauts in the 1960s.
Alternative meat products canor simulate crispy bacon, but they often rely on soy or pea protein to get the job done.
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Ever wondered if yams and sweet potatoes are the same thing? Read this before sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner.Sweet potato and yam aren't just different names for the same thing: The two produce items belong to their own separate botanical categories. Sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family. Regular potatoes like russets, meanwhile, are considered part of the nightshade family, which means that sweet potatoes aren't actually potatoes at all.
In October, a Bay Area startup introduced an alternative: a type of protein that can be produced out of thin air.
The company, appropriately named Air Protein, uses a technique discovered by NASA to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into protein the same way plants do. Its CEO, Lisa Dyson, thinks that process will be less deleterious to natural resources than other plant-based meat alternatives. She told the San Francisco Chronicle that her protein-making processthan soybean production.
Curiosity Finds Mysterious Oxygen Fluctuations on Mars
NASA’s Curiosity rover sniffed out an unexpected seasonal variation to the oxygen on Mars, according to new research. Curiosity has long been returning some appropriately curious results. After locating methane on the planet, studies from its spot in Gale crater found regular changes to the methane unexplainable by the environmental factors that scientists are already aware of. Now varying oxygen has joined methane in the Martian mysteries bucket.
That's because it starts in a lab instead of on a farm.
Dyson drew inspiration from NASA's attempt to grow food in space in the 1960s. Researchers were looking for a way to feed astronauts on a year-long mission, without any of theor that are available today. So they turned to a resource that the astronauts produced naturally: CO2.
The researchers found a class of microbes called hydrogenotrophs that convert CO2 into protein in the form of a flavourless powder. The substance can be used to make all sorts of foods, including pastas, cereals, and shakes.
For now, Air Protein is focused on using the powder to develop a meat alternative. The company hopes to announce a product that consumers can purchase next year, but hasn't said what form that will take.
In the meantime, the startup has some competition. A Finnish company called Solar Foods isthat can be used to make protein supplements or veggie burgers. The company feeds hydrogen and CO2 to a microbe, which then spits out a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Another startup called Calaysta isto make a protein that can feed fish, livestock, and household pets.
Competition aside, all of these companies still face one of the: winning over consumers with taste.
Astronauts Perform Spacewalk Surgery to Repair Cosmic Ray Detector .
Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan completed "surgery" outside of the International Space Station, slicing small metal tubes as part of the efforts to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a state-of-the-art cosmic ray detector. Expedition 61 crewmates Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Drew Morgan with NASA ventured outside of the space station on Friday (Nov. 22) for a 6 hour and 33 minute extravehicular activity (EVA, or spacewalk). The excursion continued the work they began one week ago to replace the failing cooling system for the $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS).
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