Today in Research: Moving Closer to the First Test-Tube Hamburger

By The Atlantic Wire

Discovered: What the moon's insides look like, the tiniest transistor of all time, climate change is killing alpine chipmunks, and get ready for test-tube hamburgers.

  • A step closer to test-tube burgers. "By generating strips of meat from stem cells researchers believe they can create a product that is identical to a real burger," writes The Telegraph. We will believe that only after this burger impostor participates in and wins a Ron Swanson burger-off. We don't have high hopes, but science continues to dream, however, replicating this stem cell process with cow cells and calf serum. "In October we are going to provide a proof of concept showing out of stem cells we can make a product that looks, feels, and hopefully tastes like meat," said researcher Mark Post. That does not sound too encouraging. [The Telegraph]
  • Climate change is killing alpine chipmunks. In today's depressing climate-related news, freaky weather patterns have forced the alpine chipmunk population of California's Yosemite National Park to higher ground, leading to a decline in the animal's genetic diversity. "Climate change is implicated as the cause of geographic shifts observed among birds, small mammals, and plants, but this new work shows that, particularly for mountain species like the alpine chipmunk, such shifts can result in increasingly fragmented and genetically impoverished populations," said study lead author Emily Rubidge. "Under continued warming, the alpine chipmunk could be on the trajectory toward becoming threatened or even extinct." Hear that? Extinct. First the bees, now the chipmunks. What next? Humans? [UC Berkeley]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/02/today-in-research-moving-closer-to-the-first-test-tube-hamburger/253307/